The city is looking for people to serve on its new Urban Forestry Commission. The commission will have nine members: a wildlife biologist; an urban ecologist; a representative of a local, state, or federal natural resource agency or an accredited university; a hydrologist; an arborist; a landscape architect; representative of a non-profit or NGO whose mission is to advocate for the urban forest; a developer; and an economist or real estate broker, preferably with expertise in land use or environmental planning.
Seattle’s urban forest provides numerous benefits, including air pollution reduction, carbon storage, stormwater absorption, energy savings, and aesthetic benefits, to say nothing of the shade trees provide during the 90 degree days we’ve seen so much of recently. A 2007 Portland study estimated that Portland’s urban forest stores about 1.5 billion pound of carbon, and produces nearly $40 million in annual carbon storage, air cleaning, and stormwater processing benefits. The study further estimated that increasing their urban forest canopy by 7% could result in an additional ½ million pounds of carbon storage.
During the last 40 years Seattle’s urban tree canopy has seen a 50% reduction. Estimates place the city’s current tree canopy at 18-22%; the City’s goal is to attain at least 30% over the next few decades.
The position requires about 10 hours of time and attendance at monthly meetings. Send a letter of interest and resume by Sept. 18 to Tracy Morgenstern, Coordinator, Urban Forestry Commission, Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment.