This Letter to the Editor was written in response to the Austin American-Statesman article "Commentary: Tree legislation brings Texas to the edge of anti-localism." The letter was not published by the paper.
The accusation that tree legislation in the Legislature would “grant all private property . . . the right to destroy and remove any tree of any age and size growing on their property” is false. The right to dispose of one’s own private property as one wishes is not something for the Legislature to grant, but is an inherent right of the property owner. Furthermore, this right to do as one wishes with their private property is safeguarded by the Texas Constitution, which provides that "[n]o person's property shall be taken, damaged, or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made."
Rather than granting anything, the Legislature is acting to restore rights to property owners which local tyranny has usurped. Restoring these rights secures our Texan values and squashes municipal tyranny like a bug.