The urban forest (or community forest, used interchangeably) consists of the trees along our streets, the landscaping around our homes and institutions, the vegetation in commercial and industrial areas, the multi-layered forests in our natural areas and the plants in our parks. Community forests include all of the related landscape vegetation on both public and private property, along with the watersheds, wildlife, soils and microbes within the urban environment. Trees, due to their large size, spreading canopies, and sometimes showy flowers, are the most visible component of the community forest, and are an integral part of a community’s infrastructure. Silver City’s urban trees contribute to increased quality of life, providing innumerable benefits for Silver City and its residents, such as protection from the sun and wind, cleaner air, visual and sound barriers, increased property values, and overall aesthetics.
Purpose of Community Forest Management: The purpose of this Community Forest Management Plan is to provide guidance to conserve the Town’s community forest through planning, proper maintenance, and community education. Community forests are created, managed, and sustained by people. People make decisions regarding tree removal, tree retention, tree replacement, and tree maintenance. People can affect the landscape by imposing landscape- changing impacts in the community forest that are comparable to natural disasters in a wild land forest. Like natural disasters, some of these have positive effects, while others are primarily negative. Educating people to make decisions regarding the community forest, or trees in their own yard, based on sound and reliable information results in a healthier and safer community forest with more positive human impacts than negative.