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Organization Wants To Make San Francisco Trees City’s Responsibility Again

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Cable Car Climbs Hyde Street

photo: James Irwin/CBS San Francisco

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— During lean financial years, the City of San Francisco relinquished responsibility for street tree maintenance to property owners. Now a plan by the Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) is under review to put the city back in charge.

The city would be responsible for 105,000 trees that line public streets under the proposal, but funding remains the problem.

Dan Flanagan, executive director of FUF said it just makes good sense.

“Street trees have enormous benefits that accrue to the whole population. It’s much easier, cheaper, and done better if you have the city do it instead of individuals.”

Carla Short, the city’s urban forester with the Department of Public Works said her department has always wanted to care for the city’s street trees, but didn’t have the money.

“If you consider trees as part of our green infrastructure, we’ve invested over the last 30 to 40 years in growing urban forests and now we need to ensure that it is well maintained,” she said.

A parcel tax is widely considered the most viable option, but voters would have to agree.

The proposed draft of the plan will be unveiled at a planning department-open house next week.

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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