Advancing Urban Forestry: Critical Mitigation for the Region’s Development Pressures

Forests are where we find most of the Pacific Northwest’s natural capital: from timber and salmon to flood control and water quality. Yet as our region grows and becomes more urbanized, the services forests are able to provide are diminished. Integrating forestry into the urban landscape in order to preserve this natural infrastructure is a central challenge for our region, and the ROSS. Forterra and ROSS team members from the Green Futures Research and Design Lab have partnered to produce a resource manual for urban forest management: Urban Forestry in the Puget Sound, with a specific lens to advance the goals of the ROSS.

According to the report, the Central Puget Sound population is expected to grow by 40 percent (to approximately five million people within King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties) by the year 2040.

With funding from the USDA Forest Service, the report is meant to lay the groundwork for a regional strategy for urban forest management by exploring forestry at the municipal scale. According to the report, urban forests:

  • Sequester carbon
  • Reduce air pollution
  • Cool urban areas and reduce energy demand
  • Cut surface water pollution
  • Buffer noise
  • Provide wildlife habitat
  • Increase property values

The report also details the threats urban forests are facing and the regional management and stewardship necessary to ensure that they are as highly functional as the region needs them to be to mitigate the extreme development pressure the area is facing.

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  1. […] developing GIS databases through the UW’s Geography Department and contributing research on urban forestry in Puget Sound. Graduate students earning a certificate in Environmental Management are testing powerful modeling […]



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