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The San Diego City Council voted this week to approve a $75,000 grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) for the preparation of a city wide Urban Forest Management Plan to be implemented in coming years.

The mission of the Urban Forestry Plan, CAL FIRE says, is “to lead the effort to advance the development of sustainable urban and community forests in California.” This includes placement and management of trees along city streets, in community parks, and on private property.

“Trees provide energy conservation, reduction of storm-water runoff, extend the life of surface streets, improve local air, soil and water quality, reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, improve public health, provide wildlife habitat and increase property values,” according to CAL FIRE.

According to the city, over 200,000 trees currently exist on San Diego public property. The city’s Urban Forestry program, under direction from a Community Forest Advisory Board formed in 1999, has a stated goal of planting an additional 5,000 trees annually.

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