Asheville needs to include an Urban Forester in 2019/2020 Budget

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!

Karen MacNeil
Karen MacNeil signed this petition

Please listen to the concerned citizens in our community calling for urgent action to include the position of urban forester in the 2019/2020 Asheville city budget. In the last 10 years we have lost about 10% (1600 acres) of our tree canopy in Asheville city limits. This is an unsustainable loss, we simply cannot keep losing our trees at this rate. Our tree canopy helps provide cleaner air, cleaner water, lower utility costs, carbon sequestration, reduced flooding and storm water, and enhanced overall well being for our community. Our beautiful, green landscape has been one of the main reasons people come to visit Asheville, and why the people who live here choose to stay. The most important action we can take to protect our vulnerable trees is to include an urban forester on Asheville city staff. In the Public Works portion of our 2019/2020 budget we have allocated funds for 20 additional paid positions. We need to act now and earmark the necessary portion of those funded positions, an estimated $104,205, for an urban forester (salary, equipment, office supplies). Funds could also be pulled from revitalization of storm drainage infrastructure since protecting our trees will help mitigate storm water runoff. We as a community must creatively problem solve, manage and prioritize the protection and replacement of our trees, they simply cannot protect themselves and they are literally disappearing. We are asking Asheville City Council and City Manager Debra Campbell to please take urgent action and include the position of urban forester in the 2019/2020 budget.