Protect the Precious Tree Canopy in East Bethesda, Montgomery County, MD
To: Mr. Isiah Leggett, County Executive, Mr. Roger Berliner, Council Vice President, Members of Montgomery County Council.
“Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.” USDA Forest Service
“Trees provide a range of environmental, social and economic benefits that improve our quality of life. Healthy trees increase in value with age and pay big dividends by cleaning our air, purifying water, reducing energy costs and beautifying our communities.” American Forests.
Are you concerned about the way in which trees are being cut down and aggressively pruned in your neighborhood? Those of us who live in in-fill development communities (i.e. neighborhoods where houses are torn down to make way for larger ones) such as East Bethesda in Montgomery County have become increasingly alarmed at the rate at which precious canopy trees are being destroyed in our neighborhood. This petition aims to bring our concerns to the attention of Montgomery County Council and other officials.
In 2014 Montgomery County introduced revised regulations regarding removing and replanting trees under the Tree Canopy Law. In East Bethesda builders almost always remove all existing mature trees, regardless of their condition, before constructing a new home. The new restrictions make it nearly impossible for builders to plant sizable shade trees on the same lots after the work is completed. In neighborhoods such as ours, where in-fill building continues at breakneck pace, the consequences are an unfortunate and dramatic loss of tree canopy.
To make matters worse, PEPCO is currently engaged in an aggressive pruning and tree cutting campaign that is causing otherwise healthy trees to lose a significant amount of canopy or to be removed altogether. Furthermore, it appears that the roadwork contractor did not follow the Roadside Tree Protection Law during the recent major roadwork over the past two years, resulting in significant damage to the roots of many trees. It is not clear how many of these trees will survive such harsh treatment.
East Bethesda residents are in contact with members of the Montgomery County Council to ask them to revise the regulations so that in-fill communities such as East Bethesda can maintain, preserve and even increase our valuable tree canopy. We don’t want to look back a year from now and realize that the County’s ongoing failure to conserve trees has caused East Bethesda to unnecessarily lose even more trees to in-fill development and PEPCO policies. Please join us in signing this petition urging Montgomery County Council members and other county officials to act quickly to amend the current regulations.
Thank you in advance for your help. All of us, including our children, grand children, and generations to come will benefit if we can end the unnecessary destruction of trees now and promote tree replanting efforts in the months and years to come.
Amanda Farber, Ann Posner, Caroline De Cesare, Jill McKay, Maj-Britt Dohlie
- County Executive
Montgomery County Council (County Executive)
Protect the Precious Tree Canopy in East Bethesda, Montgomery County
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