After hearing a presentation on the Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP), the Tallahassee City Commission followed the lead of new city commissioners Jeremy Matlow and Dianne Williams-Cox and requested staff to take the appropriate administrative steps to create a “tree commission.”
Commissioner Matlow applauded the presentation on the UFMP and said “I would like if we could ….amend the motion to include, to have language come back of how we can develop a tree commission to oversee this plan.”
Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said that “there would be some criteria established for the removal of trees…though I know many of the trees are on private property, but we have a way of working with private owners to preserve what we need to preserve.”
The purpose of the Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP) is to proactively manage the city’s trees and canopy roads. The plan states that canopy roads “drive economic development” and make Tallahassee unique.
Also, the report stated that managing a healthy urban forest adds “ecological and cultural social value” to the community.
The three goals identified in the UFMP were to improve canopy quality, maintain canopy levels, and engage the community.
Under each of these goals, recommendations were listed. The plan states that the execution of these recommendations will bring awareness to “existing and potential management issues.”
The plan sets benchmarks to track the progress of the UFMP to ensure that the recommendations and goals are being achieved.
The plan also provided a cost estimate for implementing the program.
Noting that the city now spends approximately $500,000 per year on tree programs, the plan estimated the annual cost for a fully implemented program would be between $1.37 and $2.35 million.
The 142 page plan can be found here.