Saturday, July 31, 2010

Town has 75% tree canopy, needs to better manage and cull derelict trees; Eureka Springs, AR

Lovely County Citizen: Local News: Culling the canopy (07/28/10):
Certified arborist and Tree City USA member Chris Fischer told Planning commissioners last week that 75 percent of Eureka Springs is covered by tree canopy, the average American city has about 45 percent canopy coverage, and while more shade may sound better on a hot summer day, the fact is we need to do better forest management in town.
The Eureka Springs tree ordinance is 'so toothy and complicated in its regulation of removal of trees on both private and public property that it needs some revisions,' Fischer said. 'It's a very unusual ordinance, and I believe it was created in the nineteen-nineties as a reaction to the massive building going on.'
He suggested the city take a new approach. 'Dangerous trees still need to come down before next winter's ice storms. There are also numerous trees growing on public lands and along rights-of-way that are in need of ongoing attention and care. At the same time, there need to be enough trees to help hold water in the soil and prevent massive runoff, a common problem in places with steep slopes and a lot of impervious materials, such as paved streets.'

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