Testimonies

use data driven analysis to provide ecological context 

for best legislation and policy outcomes by making backyard ecology accessible

for decision-making officials.

Available for use in other contexts, these arguments are

supported with evidence and analysis.

Utilities in Maryland, and other states, have claimed trees are interfering with their ability to provide reliable services to customers. Yet, a  Washington Post analysis of internal documents found claims made by one company, Pepco, were not supported by their own evidence, "in 2009 the company's workers identified equipment failures as the most common cause of outages, accounting for 44 percent." Additional claims regarding state mandated tree removal are inaccurate as documented in this testimony to members of the  county executive's office and Pepco leadership. The meeting was held in June 2015 as more unnecessary tree removals were occurring.

Maryland state HB0611 was written in 2015 to address homeowner concern; for the protection of their trees. Currently utilities are addressing serious concerns over reliability. Large-scale tree pruning and removal campaign has been developed to improve service delivery. This bill seeks to have utility companies make tree care or removal decisions based in best practices as laid out by professional arborists.

Created by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and DataBay the public was invited to create data-driven applications that increase public engagement and aid in Chesapeake Bay restoration. This short document outlines the creation of a data set that could be used to encourage a greater investment in the stabilizing force of large trees within the Bay watershed.

The multi-state, multi-agency agreement to protect the Chesapeake Bay is under review.  This testimony calls for an expansion of priorities to: include informal education techniques to reach new audiences, place greater emphasis on trees and healthy watersheds, and link the ability to use the resources of the Bay to an understanding of basic ecological principles.

This testimony supports both bills, 35-12 and 41-12, with modelling detail for a wider array of species of trees common in Montgomery County, Maryland. 

In 2013 Montgomery County, Maryland introduced two bills for the protection of trees.  Bill 35-12 was designed to maintain canopy coverage.  Bill 41-12 was intended to provide protection for street trees.  This testimony supports both bills with modelling detail to support the basic arguement that larger and older trees generally confer greater environmental benefit than smaller, younger trees.

Regular review of public school expenses places some programs on the chopping block with some frequency. Outdoor Education is one of the programs previously under consideration for removal. This testimony calls for a full evaluation of the many aspects of education addressed by the multi-day experience.