WA State Now Extending ‘Equity’ to Trees? DNR Has New Program
The word 'equity' is being thrown around a lot these days, and now the WA State Department of Natural Resources is applying it to trees.
DNR Announces new program
Thursday, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz announced a new tree 'equity' program. According to DRN:
"American Forests and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) launched the Washington Tree Equity Collaborative, a statewide partnership to achieve tree equity across the Evergreen State by expanding and fortifying neighborhood tree canopy cover."
A noble idea, perhaps nothing new seeing as how Americans have celebrated Arbor Day for 149 years on April 22nd, and Earth Day since 1970.
More from DNR:
"The Washington Tree Equity Collaborative will engage cities, community organizations and stakeholders during the next three years to build rigorous and inclusive urban forestry programs. The Collaborative will support projects that increase tree canopy and urban forest health, which help keep communities cool during heat waves and lead to improved human health outcomes."
So DNR is pursuing this program because it believes too many neighborhoods get too hot during the summer months, and that creates health inequities.
Seattle is the first city to join the Tree Equity Initiative, and one of its goals will be this (according to DNR):
"By the end of 2023, implement a policy to require three trees to be planted for every healthy, site-appropriate tree removed from city property."
This plan hopes to plant at least 48,000 new trees in Seattle. No word on if other cities will join this initiative. No mention was made by DNR of how much of this program would be paid for by taxpayers, other sources of funding were listed.
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