Magazine article American Forests

Houston Checks Its Green

Magazine article American Forests

Houston Checks Its Green

Article excerpt

CLIPPINGS

"Armed with statistics like these, we can no longer ignore the fact that trees must be considered as part of our infrastructure. We now have a tool to quantify the value of our trees." That from developer Ed Wulfe during a Houston news conference to announce the results of AMERICAN FORESTS' regional ecosystem analysis there.

The report documents tree loss-and the associated economic and environmental losses-on 3.2 million acres in the Houston area from 1972 through 1999. The study found heavy tree cover (areas with 50 percent or greater canopy coverage) declined by 16 percent, contributing to an estimated total annual loss of $55 million in environmental benefits.

The analysis shows that while Houston's existing tree canopy is working to remove 83 million pounds of ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and other pollutants-for a savings of $208 million annually-the loss of trees is contributing to the region's air quality problems. Had the existing tree cover in 1972 been maintained, it would have removed 98. …

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