Urban Tree Program Helps Improve Washington Communities

A grant from the Puyallup Watershed Initiative is allowing Washington’s Pierce Conservation District (PCD) to strengthen its jurisdictional partnerships and add canopy coverage in some of Pierce County’s most urban areas.

Over the past three years, the PCD has received $45,000 for its urban tree sale, which offers discounted trees to city and county residents to plant trees on their property and along streets. The sale also provides planting resources, education and ongoing support.

According to Melissa Buckingham, Water Quality Program Director for Pierce Conservation District, soil in the Pacific Northwest has evolved to handle the water it receives in part with robust evergreens. As cities grow and trees are removed to make way for roads, homes, shopping centers, etc., streams are not able to handle the excess water runoff from impervious surfaces.

“In our urban settings, we have water quality problems associated with tree removal, lawn installation, and impervious surfaces,” Buckingham said. “People have dogs, the use fertilizers and herbicides to keep lawns green, there’s car pollution and all of that is getting into our catch basins. When you start adding green canopy back in, you are adding nature’s processes back into our cities. Trees provide filtration, shade, reduces asthma, and it helps prolong the life of urban materials such as roads, sidewalks, and parking lots.” Read more>>>

Local Massachusetts Conservation District’s Fruit Tree Sale Supports Pollinators

Worcester County Conservation District (WCCD) sells a variety of fruit bearing trees and other flowering plants to educate the public on the importance of having fruit bearing trees in their landscaping.

This year, WCCD offers the Northern Spy Apple, which blooms in late spring, and the Reliance Peach, which is an August fruit bearer.

Joe Smith, chairman of the WCCD Board and President of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts said they focus on pollinators throughout the sale.

“We educate people on the value of having flower and fruiting trees,” said Smith. “Not all of them attract bees, but we highlight which ones do. The more variety you have in your yard, the more habitat and food sources there are for the pollinators. It’s critical and the basis of the food chain.” Read more >>>

Christiansen Named
Interim Chief of Forest Service

Vicki Christiansen has been named interim Chief of the United States Forest Service, replacing Tony Tooke, who resigned from the post in early March.

Christiansen has been serving as the U.S. Forest Service’s Deputy Chief of State and Private Forestry prior to the announcement. She was the state forester in both Washington and Arizona before joining the Forest Service in 2012 as Associate Chief of State and Private Forestry.

In a March 8 memo to agency personnel, United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said “As a former wildland firefighter and fire manager, Christiansen knows first-hand that failure to properly maintain forests leads to longer and more severe fire seasons. And as a former State Forester, she knows the benefits of Good Neighbor Authority and how best to partner with our state and local colleagues.”

“Interim Chief Christiansen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in natural resource management on our public and private forestlands,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “NACD congratulates Christiansen on her new role and we look forward to working with her as we continue to seek locally-led solutions to manage our nation’s forests.”

NACD Attends
SUFC Annual Meeting

At the beginning of March, NACD staff attended the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC)’s 13th Annual Meeting.

NACD Government Affairs Associate Chris Heck participated in the SUFC Hill Day on Tuesday and NACD Forestry Specialist Mike Beacom attended Wednesday’s annual meeting. Presentations included a city trees carbon credit program, the EPA’s Urban Waters Federal Partnership and a program that tracks the relationship between urban tree loss and storm water management.

NACD is one of more than 30 SUFC members. Beacom is a member of the SUFC Steering Committee and co-chairs the Strategic Engagement and Outreach Working Group. To learn more, visit http://www.urbanforestcoalition.org.

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