The Morning Interview

Urban foresters size up city’s trees


It’s a tree you’ve walked by hundreds of time, on the Crescent Harbor green strip, just across from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

The Littleleaf Linden is one of dozens of similar trees in the Crescent Harbor area, and one of about 15-hundred city-owned and maintained trees.
In other words, it’s an asset, like a police car, or a park bench.

Figuring out how much it’s worth and how to take care of it is the job of Stephen Nickel, who works in the Community Forestry Program for the state Department of Natural Resources. Nickel has spent the past week in Sitka with Parks & Recreation staff and local volunteers preparing an inventory of the city’s trees – the first step toward developing an Urban Forest Management Plan.

The Morning Interview goes into the field today, as KCAW’s Robert Woolsey finds Nickel on the green strip, sizing up the Littleleaf.


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The state’s division of Community Forestry has provided funding support and other resources for Sitka urban landscape in recent years. This project was funded with a $26,000 grant from the agency, which receives its base funding for the program from the National Forest Service.

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Do you remember dry weather of a few years ago that turned grass brown, generated forest fire warnings and spawned giant pollen clouds? Raven Radio was here to document and share those summer days, and with your support we'll continue to share Sitka's stories around town and around the world. It takes a cloud of pollen to make a forest...and it takes you to make a community radio station! more