GOBLES, Mich. (AP) -- Some Michigan Christmas tree growers are unhappy with the federal government's decision to stop a new 15-cent fee that would be used to promote the industry.

The industry had asked the U.S. Agriculture Department to create the promotion program. Money collected from growers through the tree fee would be similar to campaigns promoting milk, beef and eggs. But the Obama administration changed course after conservative critics claimed it was a tax on Christmas trees.

Tree grower Dan Wahmhoff in Gobles, west of Kalamazoo, was in favor of the program. He tells the Kalamazoo Gazette (http://bit.ly/sI9pB8 ) that growers are losing sales to artificial trees made overseas.

Wahmhoff says some people believe cutting down a Christmas tree is similar to chopping a rain forest. He hopes the program is revived.

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Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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