Red cedar tree infestation adds to wildfire dangers in Oklahoma


Fourteen years after former Oklahoma City Rep. Richard Morrissette convinced the legislature that the state’s red cedar tree infestation was becoming a serious fire and water issue, it remains so.

Back in 2010, Morrissette’s work led to the Eastern Redcedar Initiative Act signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry. His continued efforts  in succeeding legislative sessions weren’t so successful, even though the legislator reported the red cedar tree invasion had led to the loss of an estimated 10 million acres of land in 19 counties of the state. Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed one of his bills after it was passed by the House and Senate.

It was last year when the legislature adopted yet another measure to target the fast-growing trees. House Bill 2239, known as the Terry Peach North Canadian Watershed Restoration Act funded a pilot program to remove invasive cedar trees.

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