“Last year Casey Trees reported that DC lost 550 acres of canopy—an area roughly the size of the National Mall—largely to development. While we recognize that a growing DC is a healthy DC, development that does not preserve existing trees and replace those that are lost makes neighborhoods hot, unhealthy, and unsustainable. In response, this past year we helped to pass the Urban Forest Preservation Authority Amendment Act, aimed in large part to reduce tree loss on development sites. On the back of that success, and to mark the many other ways we seek to attain our mission, we’ve titled the theme of this year’s Tree Report Card: Turning a New Leaf. As you read through this year’s Tree Report Card, keep in mind that Casey Trees does not work alone. We continue to rely on supporters like you to strengthen our work through financial contributions, tree planting and maintenance, engaging with City Council in support of our advocacy actions, and many other ways…Illegal removals of protected Special and Heritage trees on development sites have increased because the fines are set too low to act as a deterrent. To help close this loophole, last year the DC Council passed the Urban Forest Preservation Authority Amendment Act (UFPAAA). The UFPAAA is transformative for several reasons. First, it allows city arborists the ability to issue “Stop Work Orders” to shut down a jobsite when trees are being damaged. Second, the City can now revoke the business licenses of those involved in illegal tree removals and triple the fines. Third, it strengthens and improves requirements for Tree Preservation Plans. Finally, it extends protections of Special and Heritage Trees to City-owned lands…”
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