Trees not only add beauty to our neighborhoods and quality to our daily lives, they provide a home for our local wildlife and are nature's greatest tool for cooling our City, cleaning our air and combating climate change. As we face a warming climate and increasing pollution, we need more trees, not less - and we need a comprehensive set of tree policies and long-range strategies to get us there. Los Angeles currently has one of the largest and most diverse urban canopies in the world - but it needs protecting. If we want our trees to be here tomorrow, we need to start prioritizing them today.
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We have broken sidewalks. We have mature street trees. For too many years, the two have been in conflict. Our City needs to rebuild its broken sidewalks, but that shouldn't come at the cost of our diverse urban canopy. That's why I worked with the City's Bureau of Street Services to successfully identify new and innovative ways to repair sidewalks that don't require tree removal.
But our tree policies need fixing down to the very root. In October 2018, I co-introduced a slate of motions that would address a number of issues facing our urban canopy. They include:
Staffing increases at the Urban Forestry Division (UFD) of the Bureau of Street Services to pre-2008 levels.
A new Director of Community Forestry position within UFD to develop long-range strategy for protecting our City's urban canopy.
A comprehensive street tree inventory.
Reports on ongoing and future biodiversity planning, efforts & strategies
A review of tree trimming & management policies, as well as a study of best practices in other cities.
Improvements to the street tree replacement policy.
Stronger protocols for tree removals.
Stronger Protected Tree Ordinance.
Read the motions here.
Two of these motions were approved by the Public Works & Gang Reduction Committee of City Council in February 2019, and are continuing through the legislative process. For updates on these efforts, as well as other work throughout the district, click here.
For more on tree removal and replacement procedures in the City of Los Angeles, click here.
Learn more about the issues facing trees in Los Angeles, via KCET SoCal Connected -->