The Treesavers organization supports the organization of an independent Santa Monica Tree Commission. In this, we join with the Recreation and Parks Commission who unanimously voted for this on January 15, 2009. They recommended that “City Council establish a Tree Commission with the responsibility for providing oversight and direction on the preparation of an urban forest master plan.”
On May 12, 2009, City Council approved a contract with Artecho
Landscape Architecture for $203,791 to “develop the City’s Long-Range
Urban Forest Master Plan.” It called for public input in the form of
four (4) public workshops and for the consultant to work with the
Urban Forest Task Force (assuming this is the not yet named Tree
The consultant is already working on updating the current tree
inventory. This is a key component for determining the future urban
There has been no public input on what criteria should be considered
in taking the inventory, nor has there been any publicity about it.
It appears that the City and its forestry department is going ahead
without waiting for a commission to be established, generating a plan
that will be presented as a fait accompli in the next few months. Then
four dog and pony shows will be put on and a newly organized Tree
Commission will have nothing to do with the development of the Urban
Forest Plan .
Additionally, this master plan is supposed to be for fifty years; even
the City’s LUCE plan is for only twenty years. The last city forest
master plan was adopted in 1999, only ten years ago and is noted
Mostly for all the exceptions that have been made in its implementation.
The Treesavers organization requests that the City, its community
forest department and the consultants immediately make available to
the public the criteria for the inventory and any information thus far developed.
Treesavers also requests that the development of the Urban Forest Plan
be put on hold until the Tree Commission (Urban Forest Task Force) isnamed, organized and is operating. If a fifty year master program (or lesser) is to be adopted, there should be major oversight by and input from the community, none of which has taken place.
Per resolution adopted by Treesavers on July 14th, 2009.