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Urban Forestry Commission

Registration for the 2014 Urban Forest Symposium is now open.

The Commisison is currently recruiting for Position #7 (NGO Representative). See the Press Release here.

Position #2 appointment is being processed.


The City of Seattle set the bold goal of achieving 30% tree canopy cover by 2037 to increase the environmental, social, and economic benefits trees bring to Seattle residents. The Seattle Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP), adopted in 2007, is a comprehensive strategy for increasing Seattle’s tree canopy cover to meet the 30% target. The UFMP lays out goals and a broad range of actions to be implemented over time to preserve, maintain, and plant trees as well as restore the public forested areas remaining in the city. More information about Seattle’s urban forest program can be found at

The City passed Ordinance 123052 in August 2009 establishing Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) to advise the Mayor and City Council concerning the establishment of policy and regulations governing the protection, management, and conservation of trees and vegetation in the City of Seattle.

UFC Membership:

The UFC is composed of nine members, four appointed by the Mayor, four appointed by City Council, and the ninth member is elected by the eight commissioners. The UFC positions are as follows:

Position #1 – Wildlife biologist, preferable with expertise in ornithology (Council appointment)

Position #2 – Urban ecologist, preferably with expertise in the field of restoration ecology (Mayoral appointment)

Position #3 – Representative of a local, state, or federal natural resource agency or an accredited university (Council appointment)

Position #4 – Hydrologist or similar professional, preferably with expertise in the study of natural drainage, climate or air quality, or a combination thereof (Mayoral appointment)

Position #5 – Arborist (Council appointment), with one or more of the following qualifications:
a. Board Certification as a Master Arborist or Municipal Specialist from the International Society or Arboriculture; or
b. Certification by the American Society of Consulting Arborists; or
c. Background and experience in Tree Risk Assessment from a credentializing agency or a professional organization

Position #6 – Landscape architect, with certification from the International Society of Arboriculture (Mayoral appointment)

Position #7 – Representative of a non-profit or non-governmental organization whose mission is to advocate for preservation or enhancement of urban forests, wildlife habitat or similar natural systems (Council appointment)

Position #8 – Representative of either the development community, including developers, builders, architects, or realtors, with experience in projects developed under Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), or a representative from a non-city utility (Mayoral appointment)

Position #9 – Economist, financial analyst, Washington State licensed real estate broker, or any other similar professional, with expertise preferred in land use planning, environmental planning, or either residential or commercial development (elected by appointed commissioners)

All positions serve without compensation, are confirmed by City Council, and have three-year terms after the initial round of appointments, which were staggered.

Meeting Schedule:

Regular UFC meetings are held on the first and second Wednesday of the month, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, room 2750. Upcoming meeting dates:

March 12, 2014
April 2, 2014
April 9, 2014

UFC By-laws:

The UFC amended its By-laws January 5, 2011

UFC Roster:

UFC Position Commissioner Name
1. Wildlife Biologist Steve Zemke
2. Urban Ecologist Appointment in progress
3. Natural Resource Agency or University Representative Gordon Bradley
4. Hydrologist or Similar Professional Peg Staeheli
5. Arborist Leif Fixen
6. Landscape Architect Tom Early
7. NGO Representative Recruiting
8. Development Community or Utility Representative Jeff Reibman
9. Economist, Financial Analyst, Realtor or Similar Professional Erik Rundell