At tomorrow's DC Council legislative meeting, the final legislative session before adjourning for summer recess, Councilmember Charles Allen plans to introduce the Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act of 2015.
“The loss of a big, mature tree takes a generation or two to replace. Cutting down those trees should be a last resort,” said Councilmember Allen.
Allen’s bill seeks to save the District’s older, larger trees from unnecessary removal by increasing fees for removal permits, generating additional revenue for the city’s Tree Fund, the scope of which would be expanded to allow tree plantings on District-owned property such as parks and schools.
“Trees are so important to our quality of life, I think it’s crucial we find ways to protect our larger, older trees and expand our replanting efforts. If we’re going to meet our goal of increasing the District’s tree canopy to 40% by 2032, we have to do more now. This bill will ensure the Urban Forestry Administration can help reduce the number of large trees lost to development and increase replantings,” said Councilmember Allen.
The bill also mandates survival checks of replanted trees to ensure successful canopy replacement and to help inform future planting decisions. Councilmember Mary Cheh, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment, will co-introduce the legislation.