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Eco Minute: Janaury 26, 2015

Jem Sullivan

Did you know that U.S. cities have lost more than 20 percent of their trees in the past 10 years?  This is the EcoMinute and I’m Chip Kirschenfeld.  A recent study of over 400 urban areas found a loss of 21 percent of their trees mainly due to urban sprawl, new development, and roadway construction.  

Trees provide many ecological functions including reducing stormwater runoff, reducing flooding, removing pollutants from the air, and reducing energy costs.  Medical research shows that the loss of these trees in urban areas is directly proportional to the rise in respiratory disease in these urban areas.  To replace the lost functions that were provided by these trees that were cut down, citizens now have to pay over $230 billion in additional taxes.  

Trees are a vital municipal asset, and they should be protected from unnecessary and arbitrary removal.