Wednesday, September 23, 2009

After planting efforts reveal high mortality, city moves to bolster tree protection element of UTC goal strategy; Los Angeles, CA

L.A. council wants to level $1,000 fine against those who illegally remove trees L.A. NOW Los Angeles Times:
Looking to protect more of its urban forest, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to draft a law allowing city inspectors to issue a $1,000 fine for anyone who illegally removes a street tree.
Under the proposal, citations would be issued to those caught chopping down a tree without city permission in a median strip or on a parkway — the area between the curb and the sidewalk, said Bill Robertson, general manager of the Bureau of Street Services.
The fine also would apply to trees that are on private property but have other city laws protecting them, including California bay, western sycamore and Southern California black walnut trees. Three violations within a year would result in the filing of misdemeanor charges in Superior Court, according to the proposal.
“The problem we’re trying to address is the illegal removal of trees, especially protected trees” such as native oaks, said Cynthia Ruiz, president of the Board of Public Works, which supports the proposed fine.
The proposal comes more than three years after Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa launched his initiative to plant 1 million trees. That program drew fire after The Times reported that organizers were handing out seedlings with a high mortality rate and counting them as planted. Since then, Villaraigosa’s team said the program has surpassed the 245,000-tree mark.

Also covered in LA Times:,0,3387887.story

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