Free Press: Urban forest deserves multi-layered support (Op-Ed)

In an op-ed piece, Urban forest deserves multi-layered support (Winnipeg Free Press, February 19, 2021), Trees Please volunteer Erna Buffie argues that trees are valuable infrastructure as worthy of government investment as any pipe or stretch of pavement.

For the past 30 years, bio-economists have been trying to get our attention with a novel idea — trees, they argue, are natural assets, with quantifiable value, just like roads and bridges, and should be seen as urban infrastructure eligible for ongoing sustainable investment.

And urban forests, unlike your average road, actually appreciate in value over time. The older the tree, the more carbon it sequesters, the more shade it provides to offset energy costs and the more rain water it drinks up — water that would otherwise flood our storm sewer systems.

In other words, the older the tree, the more work it does. For us. So if trees are infrastructure, why don’t urban forests qualify for the same level of multi-government investment as roads or sewers or even electric buses?


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