inflicted during the 'recession budget' of recent years. According to the draft
FY2013 Budget released last week by County Executive Ike Leggett, our County
experienced a net loss of 1,119 street trees during FY2012 with the score:
Removed 1,466 trees
Planted 347 trees
Net Loss 1,119 trees
Yet the Executive's narrative in his proposed budget labels this as an "accomplishment."
We lose many of our County street trees for a variety of reasons, including disease, storm damage, old age, invasive plants growing on them and choking them -- or general lack of maintenance. Extrapolating to include three years of recession, the County has removed approximately 4,500 trees while replanting only about 1,000. Unless we act to change this ongoing Montgomery March Madness, the 10-year score will be a net loss of 11,190 trees after removing 14,660 and planting 3,470.
When combined with Pepco's extremely active tree removal program in both in County
and State rights of way, the tree canopy has suffered a significant setback that needs
the attention of all residents.
Further, to replace the lost canopy of a single mature tree, seven young trees must
be replanted according to Mark Buscaino
, Casey Trees Executive Director, a Certified
Arborist and Urban Forester who is also on the Advisory Council of Conservation Montgomery.
We need to correct this short-sighted allocation and provide the County Tree Maintenance
Program with an adequate budget to reverse the loss of street trees that contribute so much to our neighborhoods.
Science has long documented the importance of trees to the health of our citizens and our environment and even to the value of our real estate. And yet the proposed FY2013 Tree Maintenance Budget is essentially unchanged at $3.5M for FY2013. It is simply unacceptable that the relatively small budget for our green infrastructure remains at a level that results in a net loss of 1,119 trees annually.
You can help by demanding that County officials reverse dwindling street trees in the FY2013 Budget. Write to County Executive Ike Leggett at firstname.lastname@example.org and the entire County Council at email@example.com
We can keep our County beautiful by maintaining our mature trees and planting more trees. But we can't do it without the support of our elected officials and County agencies.
-- To respond to this story for forwarding to Mr. Lewis, send e-mail to ConservationMontgomery@live.com