AUSTIN --- A unanimous vote by Austin’s Environmental Board Wednesday night at Austin City Hall was the first step in getting better protection for the 7.3 million trees on city property.
City of Austin leaders have toiled over the idea of an Urban Forestry Plan since the 1950s.
“No attempts to create this plan in the past have been successful, so it's long overdue,” said Angela Hanson, the City of Austin’s Urban Forester.
The Urban Forest Master Plan is multi-faceted and lays out a long-term strategy for preserving public trees.
“The structural value alone of our urban forest is about $4 billion, so any other infrastructure that the city manages worth that much has had a plan for a long time," Hanson said. "There's a lot of good work that's done in this city with trees. It's just not done in a coordinated matter or coordinated and aligned as it could be."
A final draft of the Urban Forest Master Plan is expected to be completed in late January or early February. Then the plan will go to the Austin City Council for approval.