Councilmembers introduce new protections for D.C.’s trees

D.C.’s big, mature trees have two standout allies on the D.C. Council —Councilmembers Charles Allen (Ward 6) and Mary Cheh (Ward 3).

In the final legislative D.C. Council legislative session before adjourning for summer recess, Councilmembers Allen and Cheh co-introduced the Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act of 2015 to amend the Urban Forestry Preservation Act of 2002, which was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Grosso, Alexander and Silverman.

Here’s what you need to know about the bill:

  • The designation for a Special Tree drops from 55 to 47 inches or more in circumference. To remove a Special Tree, individuals need to first secure a tree removal permit.
  • To remove a Special Tree, property owners would need to pay $55 per circumference inch — up from $35 per circumference inch.
  • Fines for unlawful tree removal increase from a minimum of $100 to no less than $300 per circumference inch.
  • The use of collected fines and fees in the Tree Fund would be expanded to allow for planting and maintaining trees on all District property including schools and parks.

Casey Trees will be monitoring and reporting on the progress of the Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act of 2015 as it makes its way through the necessary legislative channels this fall.

Want to play an active role in helping pass strong tree protections? Register to attend our free one-day advocacy workshop — Stand Up for Trees — on Saturday, September 19.