Tag Archives: Historic Seattle

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.

Mayor Nickels Supports Urban Forestry Commission

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.

Dear Friend:

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 tracy.morgenstern@seattle.gov.


Mayor of Seattle

Preserve or Destroy! Not all Primary 2007 Candidates Respond

Historic Seattle has posted their survey responses from candidates on the August 21, 2007 Primary. The survey covered “local historic preservation issues, concerns and opportunities

Not all candidates responded. Campaigns are busy times and candidates get deluged by all sorts of questionnaires. At the same time when people are elected to office it doesn’t get any less busy.

So I think you can read something into whether a candidate responded to a questionnaire or not. Their response or non-response once elected is likely to be similar. At a minimum it shows how important an issue is to them.

As Historic Seattle notes:

Preservation of the community’s heritage is a key quality-of-life issue and is also a primary component of sustainable development, as well as a valuable comprehensive planning tool which helps build strong communities. In Seattle, historic preservation practice and procedures have been crucial to maintain critical pieces of our urban identity such as Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Downtown Ballard, the International District, and more.

Community voters, and especially Historic Seattle members, are seeking to understand the positions of political leaders who will be responsible for protecting the historic components of our built environment and thoughtfully balance the preservation of Seattle’s unique identity with other public purposes including urban growth.”

Historic Seattle’s election survey pages are divided into 4 areas. Responses noted and posted are those received by a July 23, 2007 posting date on the website.

Seattle City Council Candidates

Responding: Jean Godden , Lauren V Biel, Robert Sondheim, Venus Velazquez, Al Runte, Tim Burgess, Sally Clark

Not Responding: Joe Szwaja, Bruce Harrell, Scott Feldman, John Manning, Tom Rasmussen, David Della, Robert J Brown III, Judy Fenton, Stan Lippman

King County Assessor– on Nov election ballot

Not Responding: Scott Noble(D), Jim Nobles(R)

King County Council

Responding: Jane Hague (R), Dow Constantine (D), Goodspaceguy Nelson (D)

Not Responding: Larry Gossett (D),Larry Phillips (D), Richard Pope (D), John Potter(R)

Seattle School Board

Responding: Patrick Kelley, Darlene Flynn, Lisa Stuebling, Sherry Carr, Harrium Martin-Morris, Maria G Ramirez, Edwin B Fruit, Danaker M Dempsey, Jr.

Not responding: Sally Soriano, Peter Maier, Courtney Hill, David Blomstrom, Steve Sundquist