Got Trees?

Zoning Practice — July 2006

By Christopher Duerksen, Molly Mowery, AICP, Michele McGlyn


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Tree protection legislation has burgeoned at the local level, with hundreds of communities adopting tree conservation ordinances over the last decade.

These regulations have evolved well beyond the first generation of ordinances that focused on preserving large specimen trees into more modern approaches, such as requiring the protection of a percentage of the existing tree canopy on a site. Some local governments are even contemplating tying tree protection to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from new developments as part of their programs to address global warming and climate change.

This issue of Zoning Practice discusses recent trends in local tree protection, including methods and rationale for tree valuation, legal protections against takings claims, regulatory approaches to preservation, and cutting-edge tree protection programs.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2006
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

Christopher Duerksen

Molly Mowery, AICP
Molly Mowery, AICP is Executive Director and co-founder of the non-profit organization Community Wildfire Planning Center and founder of Wildfire Planning International. As a certified planner with 20 years of experience, Ms. Mowery focuses on integrating wildfire hazard and resiliency with land use planning practices. She has authored, presented, and taught on land use planning and wildfire topics across the U.S. and internationally, including serving as lead author of APA’s PAS Report Planning the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), providing technical expertise on Canada’s National Guide for Wildland-Urban interface Fires, and developing and teaching WUI planning courses for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Ms. Mowery currently serves as chair of the APA’s Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Division. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Naropa University (Boulder, CO) and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA).

Michele McGlyn