Southwestern Urban Forests – Air Quality & Beyond: A Multi-State i-Tree Eco Project Case Study


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Southwestern Urban Forests – Air Quality & Beyond: A Multi-State i-Tree Eco Project Case Study

Oscar Mestas, Texas A&M Forest Service | Alix Rogstad, Arizona State Forestry | Richard Adkins, City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department | Vince Mikulanis, Davey Resource Group

This presentation will provide an overview of a case study of the “Southwestern Forests – Air Quality and Beyond” urban forestry ecosystems services assessment project, a multi-state, multi-region collaboration of the New Mexico, Texas and Arizona State Urban Forestry Programs. This project utilized i-Tree Eco to capture baseline data that would be used to assist communities to develop municipal and regional planning goals and implement strategies that address regional attainment of federal air quality standards.

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  • The Brain behind the project and his first victim (I mean partner).
  • I will go through a quick changing of the guards slide to show the audience the many layers of governmental involvement.
  • This will be our pre transition slide and then It will go to the Project Partners and Andrew will take over.
  • Develop a baseline of the urban forest in terms ofStructureHealthEnvironmental effects (Carbon sequestration, pollution removal, etc.) Study cities are in regions at risk of not meeting federal air quality standardsAnalyze data and provide comparisons amongst the four study citiesDemonstrate where improvements to the urban forest may help improve air quality and other environmental factors.
  • Removed stakeholder meetings from this slide. Richard will metion as Phx is the only city which did.
  • Southwestern Urban Forests – Air Quality & Beyond: A Multi-State i-Tree Eco Project Case Study

    1. 1. An i-Tree ECO Multi-State Project CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, RESULTS and LESSONS LEARNED Alix Rogstad, Oscar Mestas, Richard Adkins and Vince Mikulanis
    3. 3. Project Partners • USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry (funder) • New Mexico State Forestry • Arizona State Forestry • Texas A&M Forest Service • City of Phoenix • City of El Paso • City of Las Cruces • City of Albuquerque • Davey Resource Group
    4. 4. In the beginning… Sending i-Tree Eco Blast! 2009
    5. 5. Well traveled road with several detours Arizona Andrew Frederick Texas Louise Alix Rogstad Wakem New Mexico Pete John Smith Giedraitis Arizona State Forestry Texas A&M Forest Service Kelly Davisson LanceWashburn Les Finley Les & Finley Craig Fenske Richard Lofstrom, Asst. Park Superintendent Nick Kuhn Albuquerque Albuquerque Farmington Las Cruces Las Cruces Richard Adkins Glendale Phoenix Oscar Mestas El Paso
    6. 6. Project Area Convincing 13 SE Region 8 State Foresters to agree to spend money in far West Texas was a challenge.
    7. 7. Project Area Albuquerque Phoenix Las Cruces El Paso
    8. 8. Southwestern Forests Air Quality and Beyond • Multi-state, multi-region collaboration (NM, TX, AZ) • Assessment of urban forest ecosystem services – identify and quantify the current value of urban trees – develop strategies to impact air quality and community health
    9. 9. Project Goals • Produce community forest assessments in four targeted municipalities. • Develop goals and strategies for air quality mitigation. • Create tools, outreach materials and partnership forums to increase awareness.
    11. 11. Logistics • Gather aerial imagery, land base, and parcel data. • Generate plot centers using i-eco software. • Create a buffer to capture all parcels for plot.
    12. 12. Logistics • Mailing list generated • Notification letters – Address verification – up to 25% return rate – Multiple languages – Two week lead time – 800# “hotline” and e-mail for questions • Door hangers
    13. 13. Implementation • Main and local project kick-off – Pilot Data Collection • Timing – coordination among project areas • Daily location updates • Weekly progress reports
    14. 14. Implementation • • • • Web form Mobile hotspot Paper maps Data management
    15. 15. Quality Control • Data collection handbook • Subjective data • Consistent core group of inventory foresters • Hot/Cold checks • Volunteers
    16. 16. Richard Adkins LOCAL PERSPECTIVE: RESULTS & DATA USE
    17. 17. What is Urban Forest Sustainability in the Desert Southwest? • A keystone for urban living • A component of green infrastructure • A process rather than a goal • A myth?
    18. 18. Urban Forestry projects in Phoenix, AZ • Tree and Shade Master Plan – Urban Forest Resource Analysis – Urban Tree Canopy Assessment – Cool Urban Spaces Project – Southwest Forests Air Quality
    19. 19. What is the Value of a Healthy Urban Forest? STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS: Open to the Public Re: SOUTHWEST URBAN FORESTS – AIR QUALITY & BEYOND Project Summary Multi-state project to conduct urban forestry ecosystem services assessments in partnering communities, utilizing the i-Tree Eco tool to collect data that will assist communities to develop local and regional air quality planning goals. The project focuses on improving environmental health and community livability in four communities located at-risk of not meeting federal air quality standards. Arizona Project Timeline Stakeholder Meetings: From 6 pm to 7 pm April 29 – Goelet Beuf Community Center (3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd) April 30 – Cesar Chavez Public Library (3635 W. Baseline Rd) May 1 – Paradise Valley Community Center (17402 N 40th St) May 2 – Washington Activity Center (2240 W Citrus Way) Partners: AZ State Forestry, New Mexico EMNRD Forestry Division, Texas A&M University Forest Service, Davey Resource Group and paid for by funds provided from the USDA Forest Service. Partnering Communities: City of Phoenix, City of Albuquerque, City of Las Cruces, City of El Paso Questions: City of Phoenix: Richard Adkins ( 602.495.3762)
    20. 20. Key Findings (Summary) Phoenix, AZ El Paso, TX Las Cruces, NM Albuquerque, NM Number of Trees (est.) 3,357,000 1,504,000 320,000 1,846,000 Size Land Area 519 sq. mi (1344 sq. km) 332,160 acres 256 sq. mi (663 sq. km) 163,840 acres 47 sq. mi (122 sq. km) 30,080 acres 181 sq. mi (469 sq. km) 115,840 acres Tree Cover 9.7% - 13.6 trees/acre 5.9% - 14.9 trees/acre 4.5% - 11.4 trees/acre 14.3% - 21.8 trees/acre Most Common Species Velvet mesquite 9.6% California palm 7.4% Sweet acacia 6.7% Italian cypress 24% Afghan pine 10.6% Mexican fan palm 6.5% Italian cypress 19.4% Desert willow 14.7% Afghan pine 9.9% Siberian elm 16.8% Desert olive 6.5% Desert willow 6.2% Percentage of trees less than 6in DBH 44.10% 53.40% 65.10% 56.20% Pollution Removal 1,880 tons/year ($7.89 Million/year) 403 tons/year ($294 thousand/year) 126 tons/year ($339 thousand/year) 493 tons/year ($1.44 million/year) Carbon Storage 339,000 tons ($24.1 Million) 105,000 tons ($7.46 million) 21,700 tons ($1.55 million) 302,000 tons ($21.5 million) Carbon Sequestration 36,300 tons/year ($2.59 million/year) 8,460 tons/year ($602 thousand/year) 1,800 tons/year ($128 thousand/year) 12,900 tons/year ($921 thousand/year) Oxygen Production 90,100 tons/year ($0 /year) 16,300 tons/year ($0/year) 3,690 tons/year ($0/year) 28,400 tons/year ($0/year) Building Energy Savings $22.2 million/year $3.02 million/year $651 thousand/year $4.35 million/year Avoided Carbon Emissions $2.87 million/year $431 thousand/year $87.3 thousand/year $589 thousand/year Structural Values (replacement value) $4.23 billion $1.7 billion $280 million $2.62 billion
    22. 22. Lessons Learned • Big projects CAN be successful! • Requires: – Creative visioning – Leadership – Good organization – Patience – Adaptability – Sense of humor
    23. 23. Lessons Learned • Flexibility is key with multi-year projects – Funding is slow; contracts take time – On-the-ground situation changes – Mid-stride adjustments
    24. 24. Lessons Learned • “Right Team in the Right Place” – Experience with project mgmt (State-State; internal contracting; etc.) – Knowledge of the local vegetation – Cultural sensitivities – Volunteers
    25. 25. Lessons Learned • Consistency in data collection – Decide early how “% missing” will be recorded – Cultivated & Natural
    26. 26. Lessons Learned • Sample size – Take into account multiple parameters (veg variability, community size, etc.) • “Randomized” plots – Pre-determine how choices are made in the field to sample or not
    27. 27. Lessons Learned • i-Tree products have limitations in the SW – Account for all veg types (grass; cultivated will look different) – Improve spp sampling methodology
    28. 28. Future Goals • Complete data analysis • Quantify urban tree benefits • Disseminate information to public and elected leadership • Use information to further Urban Tree Canopy goals • Develop regional standards to improve air quality • Repeat in other SW ecotypes • Revisit plots in 10 years for comparison
    29. 29. Our Many Thanks: • • • • • • USDA-Forest Service, S&PF R3 and R8 • Cori Dolan Lance Davisson • Susanne Kaplan Dana Karcher • John Richardson Kelly Washburn • Kyle McCatty Matthew Thomas • Glen Buettner Cindy Salazar • Victor Soudani Dolores Ibarra