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Urban Forest Assessment-Anchorage

(Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Division of Forestry Community Forestry Program and the Municipality of Anchorage have completed the state’s first urban forest assessment. The assessment provides a foundation for developing long term management goals and allows land managers to make informed decisions about policy, management, and budgetary priorities. It also establishes a baseline for measuring change over time and the results of management strategies.

&nb ass=PRBodyText>The assessment evaluated the entire municipality from Girdwood to Chugiak and mapped the extent and location of tree canopy by land use and ownership. A public survey provided information about how residents view and value forested lands in the municipality. The information gathered was used to create a plan that will guide the Anchorage Municipal Forestry Program in preserving and enhancing the condition of forested lands and the benefits they provide. It will also help address threats to forest health and sustainability such as fire, insects, disease, invasive species, and other destructive agents. The data will also be available for all landowners in the municipality to use in resource management decisions.

The Forest Assessment and Management Plan, ource Group, complements Anchorage’s Urban Forest Management Plan for the street and park trees, completed in 2009 by Community Forestry Consultants Inc. Having plans for both ornamental trees and forested land helps the municipality develop a comprehensive approach to managing these valuable natural assets cost effectively.

The Alaska Division of Forestry funded development of the assessments and plans thorough a grant from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. The plans can be viewed at www.forestry.alaska.gov/community/grants.htm. For more information regarding the Anchorage Municipal Forestry program, contact Scott Stringer, Municipal Forester at 343-4716

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