Commends progress of Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force

To the Editor:

Contrary to a letter in the June 10th Argonaut, I want to compliment everyone’s efforts so far on the formation and implementation of the Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force. As a co-founder of Treesavers, I find it an exciting process to participate in and observe.

The advertising and outreach about the community meetings has been at an all-time high for the city, including not only advertisements in the local papers but 3,300 notices hung on doorknobs all over the city as well.

These meetings have been well attended and the community comments have been valuable and well received. The task force even presented to the public a well-thought-out online survey for their input.

Despite some initial procedural growing pain stumbles, the task force is now very receptive to public comments. Its well-thought-out mission statement is about to be approved.

The meetings are packed with educational information for the task force members and the public on Santa Monica’s trees and on trees in general.

The membership of the task force is overwhelmingly superb. To suggest that the majority of its members will “rubber-stamp” any staff-provided 50-year urban forest master plan indicates unfamiliarity with the task force members.

While I’ve had major problems with the city’s handling of its urban forest, I am heartened so far by the new Urban Forest Task Force.

Susan Hartley, Santa Monica

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