In the city of Portland, and in the Northwestern United States, trees are very important. Not only are they beautiful, they are the reason why our air is so clean as well. Recently, with the hikes in population size in the Portland metropolitan area, new homes and apartments need to be built. Slowly, the trees that the Northwesterners have grown to love are being torn out in efforts to aid new construction and road renovations to support this boom in population. Nearly 2.35million people live in the Portland area with an increase in population of nearly 40,000 people in the last year according to an article from Oregon Metro.
As population continues to increase, the need for housing does as well. Roads are being expanded and city-wide traffic has increased 6% in the last year. In East Portland, residents have noticed trees disappearing at an alarming rate. These “tree huggers” are concerned that the need for rapid expansion is taking away from the natural beauty of the Northwest. Despite the vast majority of people in support of keeping our trees, the city ordinances regarding tree removal are very lacking. With these unclear rules, many contractors are able to tear out trees on public and private land with little to no consequence.
In an effort to aid citizens in being heard, the Urban Forestry Commission of Portland has began an initiative to redraft laws regarding tree removal and also to put into place replanting laws that force contractors to replant so many trees based on diameter of trees removed. Ideally, if the ordinance passes, this will limit further deforestation of Oregon as a whole and will lead the way for many other cities in the Northwestern United States.
Now for any of the “tree huggers” out there that want to have their voice heard on the issue of deforestation in Portland, please contact send written testimony to Mieke Keenan at email@example.com by September 9, and cc: Commissioner Dan Saltzman at firstname.lastname@example.org and Commissioner Amanda Fritz at email@example.com.
Don’t delay in your responses to our city’s leaders. You may be our only hope to stop Portland from becoming a stump town.