Maybe there's an alternative to the trees vs. billboards argument environmentalists and sign owners have every year.
And maybe a group meeting under the auspices of the state Department of Transportation will find that Third Way, Lynn Bonner reports.
Over the past few years, environmental groups have successfully fought billboard owners' attempts to cut more trees around their signs so that people passing by have longer to read them.
They were tough fights that pitted billboard-loving senators against environmental groups, the DOT and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Last week, group representing billboard owners, environmental groups, local governments, petroleum marketers, restaurants and hotels began meeting to try to fashion compromises on tree rules, zoning issues and other billboard matters.
The group is using a facilitator and plans to meet twice a month to come up with new rules, said Ted Sherrod, a DOT roadside environmental engineer.
"I guess using the expertise from a facilitator will hopefully allow us to end up with a third alternative that’s better than what we've ended up with before," he said.