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Arbor Day Proclamation

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Dick Perue

A proclamation by Wyoming Gov. Bryant B. Brooks in the April 16, 1909 issue of  The Casper Press reads:

The year is repeating the earth-old story. We are coming once more to its most charming chapter. The balmy air, the echoing mountains, the barren desert flushing with renewed promise of ample sustenance, the resurrection of the leafless vine, the naked tree budding forth into new life and beauty, all proclaim the miraculous change.

“To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous, and the exercise of God’s power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.”

By the planting of trees about the home and school and along the ditch and lonely wayside, all the people of Wyoming should give concrete expression of their gratitude for the blessings of spring. Concerted efforts will be amply rewarded and every home, school and hamlet will be morally, intellectually and economically benefitted thereby.

Now therefore, following the law and custom of our state, I hereby proclaim April 13, 1909 as ARBOR DAY and earnestly recommend the broad, practical and earnest observance of tree planting day by old and young, making it a fact and not a mere form.

Yep, I know it’s a little late for Arbor Day, but in Wyoming it’s never too late to plant a tree and then enjoy its beauty.

A short history of Arbor Day, as swiped from the internet, notes:

As pioneers began moving into the Nebraska Territory, the lack of trees was felt deeply. Not only did the new residents miss the trees they left behind, they were also left without the trees they needed as windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials and for shade from the hot sun.

Nebraska newspaper editor J. Sterling Morton had an enthusiasm for trees and advocated strongly for individuals and civic groups to plant them. And on Jan. 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day.” 

The celebration date was set for April 10, 1872. It was estimated more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

Shortly thereafter Wyoming law establishes the last Monday in April as Arbor Day. On this day, according to the statute, a “tree shall be planted on state grounds in a simple ceremony.”

Pioneers in many Wyoming towns tried to plant and maintain trees in their communities. For instance, in Laramie in 1874, the town council passed an ordinance stating “no horse, mule or other beast of burden” could be “tied to any tree without the owner’s permission.” 

Further, the ordinance stated up to a $50 fine could be assessed on anyone “who shall willfully, without the permission of the owner, destroy or mutilate any growing tree” within the town’s borders.

And the rest is history you can look up on the internet.

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