Sunday, February 13, 2011

Building industry group expresses concern about tree canopy goal - Guilford County, NC

GSO Advisory Commission on Trees/ County-wide Tree Canopy Study- The ACT is developing Goals and Objectives based on the results of the 2010 Tree Canopy study. Even though this study revealed no problem with our canopy, it still makes recommendations, including the development of a canopy management plan on both local and regional levels. Unrealistically, the ACT has interpreted the American Forest recommendation for a 40% “regional canopy” as the “urban canopy”recommendation, and is developing ideas on how to preserve and increase the Greensboro “urban canopy.” In conversations with American Forest, staff indicates that the recommendation for the GSO MSA should be based on the distribution of land uses. Using this standard, the current tree cover should be approximately 34%, which is less than the existing 38% cover identified in the study. Under the same standard, at total build out of the study area the “urban” tree canopy is recommended to be 22%. Though it is commendable to preserve our city trees, it should not be done at the expense of urban development. Stifling development within an urban area leads to sprawl and ultimately to the reduction of tree cover for the region.

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