Petition Closed
Petitioning County Executive Isiah (Ike) Leggett and 10 others

Trees matter in Montgomery! Sign up to save the trees in our county.

Two important bills to maintain and increase our tree canopy have been introduced in the Montgomery County Council. County Council Bill 35-12 conserves mature tree canopy and aims to increase urban canopy on residential and commercial lots in our communities. Council Bill 41-12, conserves trees along streets and in the public rights of way in our communities.

Sign a petition to let the County Council know how you feel about passage of these two companion tree bills. We are losing mature trees in our county due to storm damage, development and disease. The only way to maintain a healthy level of tree cover is to care for our existing trees, retain as many canopy trees as possible during construction and to replant aggressively to make up for the older trees we are losing. Trees are the lungs of our county and help to improve water and air quality. Research shows that homes with mature trees on the lot sell at higher prices and that retail centers where there are ample trees and landscaping realize higher profits.

We need trees in our Montgomery County communities -- and they need us to sign this online petition. Sign on and speak up for the trees!

Letter to
County Executive Isiah (Ike) Leggett
Montgomery County Council Craig Rice
Montgomery County Council Nancy Navarro
and 8 others
Montgomery County Council George Leventhal
Montgomery County Council Nancy Floreen
Montgomery County Council Valerie Ervin
Montgomery County Council Marc Elrich
Montgomery County Council Roger Berliner
Montgomery County Council Phil Andrews
Montgomery County Council Montgomery County Council
Montgomery County Council Hans Riemer
I urge you to vote "yes" on Council Bills 35-12 and 41-12, two companion bills that are very important to all county residents and businesses. Our County Forest Conservation Law (FCL) has served us well on larger land areas of 40,000 square feet or more and for forest clearing of 20,000 square feet. But the FCL was adopted by the Council in 1992 to address larger tracts of forested land and not trees or stands of trees on smaller lots where we live and work each day. Likewise the State Roadside Tree Law is not strong enough to sustain our public street trees owned by Montgomery County. We can do better than relying on State law alone to improve our street and right of way tree canopy. And we can do more to conserve tree canopy in denuded sections of the county that are not covered by the FCL.

To maintain healthy and vibrant communities in Montgomery County, we must do all that we can to conserve and maintain our existing tree canopy. In addition, we must replant native trees aggressively to make up for what is lost due to storm damage, development, disease and damage from invasive species.

Our trees are more than a matter of aesthetics in Montgomery County communities. They provide life-giving shade, help capture stormwater runoff and sequester CO2 that contributes to poor air quality and climate change. Research shows that children attending school in tree-lined neighborhoods are better able to focus and lead overall healthier lives since trees provide a calming psychological effect. In addition, studies have shown that homes sell for higher prices and business realize higher profits when mature trees surround the built environment.

I urge you to do what is right for our County and vote yes on two bills that are a step in the right direction for Montgomery: 35-12 and 41-12. I also urge you to support the amendments and recommendations that you will receive from the Planning Board and Planning Department staff on Bill 35-12. While the bill has worthy intent, it needs to be strengthened with the Planning Department staff report recommendations. Strong regulations must also accompany both tree bills that will help county agencies administer these two bills successfully to create a results-driven urban canopy program for Montgomery County.