Human Environmental Interaction is a big thing. How we as people treat the world around us is more important than you may think. In Seattle, people were cutting down the Evergreen trees for everyday wood products and paper. This is an example of humans interacting with the natural environment. The price for using these natural elements is not monetary, but more of an ethical problem. It becomes an issue when there are fewer trees for the parks, as habitats of local animals, and for general vegetation.
The Seattle government, in an effort to protect the trees in endangered areas has enacted a set of laws, which say:
"Environmentally Critical Areas (ECAs): Removing, clearing or any action detrimental to habitat, vegetation or trees is prohibited within ECAs and regulated by the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI)- see Client Assistant Memo (CAM) 331. This includes areas characterized by steep slope, potential slide areas, known slide areas, wetlands, wetland buffers, riparian corridors, shoreline habitat and shoreline habitat buffers. Only non-native and hazardous trees ( CAM 331B) can be removed within some of these ECAs and only with a replanting plan reviewed and approved by SDCI (SMC 25.09.320 and CAM 331A). General tree maintenance is allowed without permits, as long as the action is not harmful to the health of the tree, and meets accepted pruning standards. Tree topping is prohibited in ECAs."
They also have a phone number on their website where residents can call and report suspicious tree cutting. The city of Seattle also believes that…
"Trees add much more to an urban landscape than a spot of green on the horizon. Healthy, mature tree canopy positively affects issues ranging from human health to economic development and sense of community. Urban trees have equally important impacts on the environment. They break up heat islands, decrease flooding from stormwater runoff, absorb carbon dioxide, and shade buildings leading to a reduction in energy use."
The entire program is called Trees for Seattle and is aimed to protect both the people and the environment. To learn more about how you can get involved in their projects visit their Trees For Seattle Facebook Page!
Although I don't live in Seattle or the state of Washington, this program spoke to me in a way that I felt was important to share. Seattle is doing its part to protect a piece of the environment we all need to survive. Think about it. Imagine a world without trees, where the air is constantly polluted and life is more about what we've created than the natural beauty around us. What is your city or state doing to protect the environment?