Hazardous Tree Management and Post-Disaster Recovery
Every year, millions of trees are destroyed by storms big and small, ranging from thunderstorms in the Midwest to hurricanes along the Gulf Coast and East Coast.
Damaged trees often block roads and fall on buildings and vehicles, sometimes killing or injuring people unfortunate enough to be in their path.
Debris removal costs hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
There are, however, ways to mitigate the damages and costs without simply getting rid of trees, which serve vital ecological, economic, and social functions in the urban environment, a subject documented extensively in APA’s 2009 Planning Advisory Service Report No. 555, Planning the Urban Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service teamed up with APA, with vital in-kind support and participation from the International Society of Arboriculture, to sponsor a two-day scoping session at its office in Washington, D.C., June 16-17, 2014.
Representatives of relevant federal agencies and some other nonprofit organizations were invited, along with several subject matter experts, and the list of those who attended appears below. During the scoping session, the participants discussed problems and potential solutions for better protecting the urban forest during and after disasters.
The pages listed in the menu on the left provide a summary of the discussion, the briefing papers presented by the subject matter experts, and a brief annotated bibliography produced by APA for this project.
The APA Hazards Planning Research Center sincerely hopes that what is presented here is not the end, but the beginning, of an ongoing discussion of these issues that may ultimately yield changes in policies and programs that will help achieve the goals of this project.
The center also thanks its intern, Andreas Safakas, for his work in organizing the many elements of the program and coordinating attendance and logistics among the participants listed below.
Kristyn Abhold, Intern, White House Council on Environmental Quality
Mark Buccowich, Assistant Director of Forest Management, USDA Forest Service
Keith Cline, Director, Fairfax County (VA) Urban Forest Management Division
Eric Davis, President and Founder, Tree Care, Inc.
Mark Duntemann, Owner, Natural Path Urban Forestry Consultants
Claire Hadfield, Intern, U.S. Department of the Interior
Dudley Hartel, Center Manager, USDA Forest Service
Debbie Hill, Emergency Management Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Homeland Security
Chitra Kumar, Deputy Assistant Director for Water, White House Council on Environmental Quality
Edward LeBlanc, Project Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Edward Macie, Regional Coordinator, USDA Forest Service
Caroline Massa, New York Sandy Recovery Office, Natural and Cultural Resources Liaison, Federal Emergency Management Agency
James McGlone, Urban Forest Conservationist, Virginia Department of Forestry
Anna Read, Senior Program Development & Research Associate, APA
Phillip Rodbell, Program Manager, USDA Forest Service
David Rouse, AICP, Director of Research and Advisory Services, APA
James Schwab, AICP, Manager, APA Hazards Planning Research Center
Donald Simko, Emergency Management Program Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency
James Skiera, Executive Director, International Society of Arboriculture
Thomas Smiley, Arboricultural Researcher, Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory
Howard Stronach, Regulation and Policy Branch Chief, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Public Assistance Division
Linda Wang, Forest Taxation Specialist, USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry
Samantha Wangsgard, Fairfax County (VA) Urban Forest Management Division
M.J. Wilson, New York Sandy Recovery Office, Infrastructure Liaison, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Larry Wiseman, Fellow, Virginia Tech, Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability
Karen Zhang, National Coordinator—Natural and Cultural Resource Recovery, U.S. Department of the Interior