Protect Our Exceptional Trees
Plant Amnesty and The Last 6,000 want you to know that Seattle’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee meeting this Wednesday, July 14th at 9:30 am will include a quarterly presentation on the status of the proposed Tree Protection Ordinance from Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI). Let the city know you want to save Seattle’s remaining urban forest!
Tell your council members and Mayor Durkin that you support the long overdue update of our city’s tree protection ordinance, and in particular, call for a moratorium on the cutting of exceptional trees or trees over 30” in diameter. The impact of Seattle’s recent heat waves and reporting on disparate impacts to marginalized communities with scarce tree canopy make it even more urgent for the City to take action. We cannot wait another year!
HOW TO COMMENT JULY 14 AT 9:30 a.m.: Your expression of interest in conserving Seattle’s existing climate-mitigating tree canopy can be made to the Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee on Wednesday, July 14. You can register online to speak during the Public Comment period before the 9:30 a.m. committee meeting at http://www.seattle.gov/council/committees/public-comment.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR COMMENT : If you cannot make this meeting time, you can send an e-mail to all nine City Council members with this single e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can e-mail the Mayor at email@example.com as well as the head of SDCI at nathan.Torgelson@seattle.gov.
In the meantime, as you know, large trees continue to be removed all over the city. Councilmember Pedersen has heard and received numerous requests for a moratorium on the removal of exceptional trees (SMC Chapter 25.11, Director’s Rule 16-2008) to do no further harm while the executive departments and then City Council finalize an ordinance. However we get there, our ultimate goal is a much stronger tree ordinance that increases the ability of our urban forest to mitigate for climate change impacts and furthers the environmental justice goal of ensuring the many benefits of larger trees throughout the City.
Thank you very much for your ongoing interest in this environmental and public health issu
Councilmember Pedersen’s blog post on tree ordinance issues is here. And here are a few recent links of interest:
KUOW, (June 23, 2021) “Heat wave could hit Seattle area neighborhoods differently – possible 20 degrees difference”
Seattle Times, (July 5, 2021) “Communities of color are the ‘first and worst’ hurt by climate change; urgent action needed to change course”
New York Times, (Opinion, June 30, 2021) “Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?”
National Geographic, (June 17, 2021) “Los Angeles confronts its shady divide”
National Geographic, (July 2021) “How L.A.’s urban tree canopy reveals hidden inequities”
New York Times, (July 2, 2021) “What Technology Could Reduce Heat Deaths? Trees.”