Proposed legislation will extend the city's urban forest protection efforts to groups of trees

Seattle City Council president Richard Conlin and councilmember Sally Clark announced, on May 29, new legislation that will extend the city's efforts to preserve its urban forest by protecting groves of trees.

"Current city regulations allow for protection of large individual trees but we need to do more to preserve groves of trees and their unique ecological value," said Conlin, chair of the Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee.

According to the city, due to the impact of development, Seattle's urban tree canopy has fallen from 40 percent of the city's land in 1972 to 18 percent today. The council has already adopted a goal of one percent per year increase in the urban tree canopy until once again trees cover 40 percent of the city - a goal that is consistent with the recommendations of American Forests, the nation's oldest non-profit citizen's conservation organization.

"In order to meet the city's goal of enlarging our tree canopy, we need to work to preserve as many existing groups of trees as possible," noted Clark, chair of the Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee.

The new legislation on protecting tree groves will be considered by the Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee at its Tuesday, June 24 meeting at 2 p.m. and could be acted on by the full council as soon as Monday, June 30.

"Increasing the tree canopy will enhance air and water quality, and help lessen the impact of climate changing gases," Conlin asserted.[[In-content Ad]]