Investigative report exposes killing of trees by billboard industry

A new report finds that the practices of poisoning, cutting and chopping down trees to increase the visibility of billboards are more widespread than previously believed.

The report, by the investigative journalism organization FairWarning, highlights several recent incidents in which it is alleged that billboard companies killed trees by poisoning or cutting.  Robert Barnhart was the first whistleblower to come forward and claim that his bosses at Lamar told him to drive around in an unmarked truck at night and hack at and poison trees obstructing the views of billboards.  Barnhart’s story was the focus of a video produced by Ossion Or that includes interviews with his attorneys.  Barnhart has since been joined by a second worker who backs up his claims about the poisoning.

The report by FairWarning detailed a pattern of tree destruction by the billboard industry.  “Scenic America commends the workers who have had the courage to tell the truth about poisoning of America’s landscapes for corporate greed,” said Mary Tracy, president of Scenic America.

Scenic America has long worked to raise the alarm about the practice of tree cutting around billboards.  Our groundbreaking publication “Beauty and the Beast” detailed how the billboard industry makes money by chopping down the public’s trees.  Click here to download it as a PDF.