Jul 28, 201101:30 PMBlog

U.W. tree canopy study shows Tacoma closer to 30 percent goal

Jul 28, 2011 - 01:30 PM
The City of Tacoma's goal of 30 percent tree coverage isn't as far away as originally thought, according to a University of Washington study released this month that shows Tacoma has a 19 percent tree canopy.

A previous study by the U.S. Forest Service using 2001 data had Tacoma's tree coverage at 12.9 percent. The U.W. study used 2009 data. The study was funded by a grant from the Department of Natural Resources. While the news is good, city urban forester Ramie Pierce said that part of the increase is likely due to the University of Washington study being more accurate and detailed. The U.W. study considered factors such as the Northwest's highly varied terrain and abundance of evergreen trees.

The U.S. Forest Service study was part of a national inventory that looked at data on a broader level and often didn't take into account street trees or wetlands, Pierce said.

"We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but achieving the goal is worth it," Pierce said. "Trees are a valuable asset to our community. They give us cleaner air, higher property values, energy savings, flood prevention, healthier waterways, stronger business districts and more enjoyable neighborhoods. It pays to save trees."

Click here for more information about Tacoma's Urban Forestry program.
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