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Students find it's hard to honor a tree

Published January 31, 2008 11:24 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 11:24 AM- SMITHFIELD - Opponents appear to be clear-cutting an attempt by fourth-graders to change the official state tree to the Utah juniper instead of the Colorado blue spruce.

Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan, says the bill is in trouble. He says ranchers are worried that the juniper will be given a special status, protecting it from removal on private land.

But Draxler insists the tree won't have any legal protection.

Kids at Summit Elementary School in Smithfield say the juniper is found everywhere in Utah. History shows American Indians ate its berries and used the wood to make homes.

Even if the bill gets a vote in the Utah Legislature, Draxler says approval will be "a tough row to hoe."