The Seattle City Council is currently in the process of passing legislation to create an Urban Forestry Commission. A bill introduced by Councilmember Nick Licata is currently before the City’s Environment Committee for a vote. It is expected to pass this afternoon and go before the full Council for a vote in 2 weeks.
Mayor Nickel’s has sent a letter to folks supporting the Urban Forestry Commission expressing his support. Below is the text of the letter.
Thank you for your letter and your support for Seattle’s urban forest. Maintaining and enhancing our urban forest is important to Seattle’s environment quality and community livability.
As you may know, I have adopted the goal of achieving an average of 30% canopy cover across the entire city. We recently reassessed our tree canopy and learned that after decades of tree loss, our canopy cover increased slightly to a current level of about 23% between 2002 and 2007. While we are pleased with our progress, we also are aware that more needs to be done to realize our vision of a thriving, sustainable urban forest.
I support the proposed Urban Forest Commission and look forward to working with its members. The majority of tree preservation and planting potential is on private property, and input from a commission will help inform the city’s overall approach to boosting the urban forest. Advice on any proposed legislation also will be a key role for the Commission. I look forward to hearing the Commission’s suggestions and input on a range of options before we move forward with a specific legislative proposal.
Thank you again for taking the time to write. If you have questions, please contact Tracy Morgenstern in the Office of Sustainability at (206) 386-4595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor of Seattle