GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2005

 

 

SESSION LAW 2005-387

HOUSE BILL 1316

 

 

AN ACT adopting the fraser fir as the official christmas tree of the state of north carolina and the southern appalachian brook trout as the official freshwater trout of north carolina.

 

Whereas, North Carolina has 1,500 Christmas tree growers and produces more trees than any other state except Oregon; and

Whereas, North Carolina tree growers produce over 50 million Fraser firs each year; and

Whereas, the Fraser fir constitutes more than 90% of all the Christmas trees grown in North Carolina; and

Whereas, the Fraser fir is named for John Fraser, a Scottish botanist who explored the Southern Appalachian mountains of North Carolina in the late 1700s; and

Whereas, the Fraser fir is a pyramid-shaped tree that reaches a maximum height of 80 feet and a trunk diameter of one to one and one-half feet; and

Whereas, the Fraser fir grows naturally only in the Southern Appalachians; and

Whereas, Fraser fir trees grown in North Carolina have won the National Christmas Tree Association's annual tree competition more than any other species; and

Whereas, North Carolina contains innumerable mountain streams and coldwater fisheries habitats; and

Whereas, these mountain streams are home to brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), which is North Carolina's only native freshwater trout species; and

Whereas, the Southern Appalachian form of brook trout is a scientifically-recognized unique and genetically distinct form locally known as "specks" or "speckle" trout because of the numerous specks on its skin; and

Whereas, North Carolina is home to some 400 self-sustaining populations of Southern Appalachian brook trout, more than in any other state; and

Whereas, these wild and colorful fish are important keystones of ecological diversity, indicators of outstanding water quality, and representatives of the pure and unspoiled areas that they inhabit; and  

Whereas, Southern Appalachian brook trout are cooperative sport fish, and may be caught by anglers using traditional fly-fishing equipment and locally-adapted fly patterns, thereby supporting extensive recreational fishing opportunities, economic development, and tourism; and

Whereas, by their character and contribution, these unique fish are woven into the historical and cultural fabric of Western North Carolina; and

Whereas, the Fraser fir deserves recognition as the official Christmas tree of the State of North Carolina and the Southern Appalachian brook trout deserves recognition as the official freshwater trout of the State of North Carolina; Now, therefore,

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

SECTION 1.  Chapter 145 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 145-25. State  Christmas tree.

The Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) is adopted as the official Christmas tree of the State of North Carolina."

SECTION 2.  Chapter 145 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 145-26.  State freshwater trout.

The Southern Appalachian strain of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is adopted as the official freshwater trout of the State of North Carolina."

SECTION 3.  This act is effective when it becomes law.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 23rd day of August, 2005.

 

 

                                                                    s/ Beverly E. Perdue

                                                                         President of the Senate

 

 

                                                                    s/ James B. Black

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives

 

 

                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley

                                                                         Governor

 

 

Approved 3:25 p.m. this 13th day of September, 2005