I am writing to speak for our trees in the City. Our urban forest is in a crisis due to the changing climate (e.g., droughts and extreme heat), emerging pests and diseases, land use conflicts with development, insufficient funding, lack of a comprehensive urban forestry plan and holistic City-wide management, technological support, and coordination.
A healthy urban forest is essential infrastructure to a thriving, sustainable, and resilient City. Los Angeles’s urban forest, if properly planned and managed, can protect Angelenos from many of the current and future impacts of climate change -- including saving lives from extreme heat, capturing and cleaning water, improving human health and wellbeing, and providing many other benefits.
TreePeople and the Community Forest Advisory Committee (CFAC) recently organized a “Rooted in Urban Forestry Day” at Los Angeles City Hall. Together, the premier urban forestry groups in the City delivered guidance on how to implement the recent recommendations from the “First Step” report to developing an urban forest management plan in the City. The Mayor's Office, Councilmembers’ Offices, and key agencies have now heard directly that these critical recommendations need to be implemented immediately.
I’d like to add my voice to this movement to implement these recommendations. Your leadership and support are critical to save and sustain our urban forest, combat climate change, and protect our communities. I hope you will join us to support Los Angeles’s urban forest to ensure the following key recommendations and immediate actions are considered, funded, and implemented at the policy and management levels:
City Councilmembers, the Mayor, and key agencies must prioritize the urban forest.
Hire an urban forestry coordinator to make holistic changes to LA’s urban forest management approach.
Increase urban forestry funding to support sustainable management in the short term.
Immediately begin and complete an Urban Forestry Financing Plan.
Complete a comprehensive tree inventory as soon as possible.
Implement a tree management software program to facilitate tree and urban forest management.
Implement public outreach to improve urban forest awareness and engagement.
Develop and Implement an Urban Forest Management Plan.
Immediately start the process to integrate municipality-wide policies and practices that are needed to protect public and private trees. These need to be consistently enforced with penalties sufficient to deter violations.
Ensure urban tree care in the City using best management practices for both young and mature trees.
Priority Budgetary Items
Include the following in the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget:
Professional street tree inventory ($3 million);
Urban Forest Management Plan (a minimum of $400,000);
Tree management software ($35,000-$250,000 initially, with ongoing annual licensing fees)
Financing Study ($100,000);
Public education (the City needs to immediately develop goals and scope to determine budget).
The time to act is now. Thank you for speaking for the trees, and for your constituents.
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Feel free to add any other concerns about the project you might have here.
Next, send a copy of this email to your Councilmembers, the Mayor, and share it with your friends:
It's that easy! Once you've sent it, please tell your friends and neighbors to do the same. Our power comes from our numbers. Tell your wife, husband, partner, children (over 18) to email as well. Everyone in your community needs and appreciates your help!
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