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Utah Looks to Change State Tree

Thanks to a class of fourth graders from Monroe Elementary in Sevier County, Utah is changing it's state tree. Last September, the students gave a presentation to Gov. Gary Herbert about changing the state tree from the blue spruce to the aspen.

Bill sponsor Sen. Ralph Okerlund (R-Sen. District 24) said Senate Bill 41, which would change the state tree, passed unanimously in the Utah Senate earlier this week.

Paul Rogers is from the Western Aspen Alliance. He said Utah is home to the world's largest living organism called Pando, a cluster of aspen trees near Fish Lake in Sevier County, which covers an estimated 106 acres of land. Aspen trees are mostly genetic clones of each other and grow from the root system outwards, hence the name Pando which is Latin for, "I spread."

"It may be seen as important you are trying to select a symbol more widespread and known by Utahns," Rogers said. "Any Utahn, whether they are a city dweller or live in a rural area, can identify an aspen tree when they go in the mountains."

Okerlund said the entire fourth grade class from Monroe Elementary will go to the Capitol on Monday to watch the House of Representatives vote on the bill.

Morgan Pratt is a sophomore at Utah State University seeking a degree in Journalism and Communications.