Got Trees?

Zoning Practice — July 2006

By Christopher Duerksen, Molly Mowery, AICP, Michele McGlyn


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Tree protection legislation has burgeoned at the local level, with hundreds of communities adopting tree conservation ordinances over the last decade.

These regulations have evolved well beyond the first generation of ordinances that focused on preserving large specimen trees into more modern approaches, such as requiring the protection of a percentage of the existing tree canopy on a site. Some local governments are even contemplating tying tree protection to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from new developments as part of their programs to address global warming and climate change.

This issue of Zoning Practice discusses recent trends in local tree protection, including methods and rationale for tree valuation, legal protections against takings claims, regulatory approaches to preservation, and cutting-edge tree protection programs.


Page Count
Date Published
July 1, 2006
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American Planning Association

About the Authors

Christopher Duerksen

Molly Mowery, AICP
Molly Mowery, AICP is Executive Director for the non-profit organization Community Wildfire Planning Center and founder of Wildfire Planning International. For more than 15 years, Molly has been a pioneer in integrating wildfire hazard mitigation with land use planning practices. She developed the first wildland-urban interface planning course for FEMA, served as the lead author of the American Planning Association (APA) publication Planning the Wildland-Urban Interface, and drafted land use planning guidance for the National Research Council of Canada’s National Guide for Wildland-Urban interface Fires. Molly frequently presents on wildfire planning topics and provided the Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and Law hosted by the Vermont Law School in 2021. She is chair-elect of the APA Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Division. Molly earned a bachelor of arts from Naropa University (Boulder, CO) and a master in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA).

Michele McGlyn