Looking for Members to Join the new Seattle Urban Forestry Commission

Yesterday it was announced that the Seattle Mayor and Seattle City Council are seeking members for the newly created Urban Forestry Commission. The press release, a fact sheet, and the ordinance establishing the Commission can be found here:


Anyone interested in serving on the Commission should submit a letter of interest and resume by September 18, 2009. Details about the Commission membership and the selection process can be found in the fact sheet on the link above. The Seattle City Council and Mayor are seeking members with specific areas of expertise so please have a look at the fact sheet to help identify people who you think might be interested. Please help spread the word so we can get qualified people appointed..

The positions on the Urban Forestry Commission are:

The Commission is comprised of nine members:

Position 1: A wildlife biologist, preferably with expertise in ornithology

Position 2: An urban ecologist, preferably with expertise in the field of restoration ecology

Position 3: A representative of a local, state, or federal natural resource agency or an accredited university

Position 4: A hydrologist or similar professional, preferably with expertise in the study of natural drainage, climate or air quality, or a combination thereof

Position 5: An arborist, with one or more of the following qualifications:
• Board Certification as a Master Arborist or Municipal Specialist from the International Society of Arboriculture; or
• Certification by the American Society of Consulting Arborists; or
• Background and experience in Tree Risk Assessment from a credentializing agency or a professional organization.

Position 6: A landscape architect, with certification from the International Society of Arboriculture

Position 7: A representative of a non-profit or non-governmental organization whose mission is to advocate for preservation or enhancement of urban forests, wildlife habitat or similar natural systems

Position 8: A representative of either the development community, including developers, builders, architects, or realtors, with experience in projects developed under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), or a representative from a non-city utility

Position 9: An economist, financial analyst, Washington State licensed real estate broker, or any other similar professional, with expertise preferred in land use planning, environmental planning, or either residential or commercial development.

Creation of the Urban Forestry Commission is an example of how citizen concern and action over the continued loss of Seattle’s trees is effecting change in how our city is functioning. The continued threat of the unnecessary destruction of a conifer/madrone rare plant habitat at Ingraham High School resulted in the formation of a city wide effort called Save the Trees-Seattle to save the 75 year old 100 foot tall trees at Ingraham and help to protect trees across the city..

I am the Chair of the Group and at a meeting of the King County Democrats several months back I suggested to Seattle City Council member Nick Licata that what we needed to help protect Seattle’s Urban Forest was an Urban Forestry Commission like Portland Oregon has.

Nick said he liked the idea and two weeks later he introduced legislation to create an Urban Forestry Commission for Seattle

The bill went through numerous revisions, several public hearings and received comment from many citizens. In the end the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the resolution supporting the creation of the Urban Forestry Commission comprised of technical experts to help advise the Mayor and the Seattle City Council on urban forestry issues.

Council member Licata played a critical role in the process by not just introducing the bill but guiding it through numerous revisions and compromises to finally get the bill enacted.

So now the work begins on getting a functioning commission. Please help spread the word and urge people you know who are qualified to apply to be on the new Urban Forestry Commission.

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