By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-445-4578
Whenever you hear about the benefits that trees provide to a home, community or region, there is a good chance that that information came from i-Tree, a suite of software from the USDA Forest Service and the Davey Tree Expert Company that quantifies forest structure and estimates trees’ benefits to the ecosystem. Within i-Tree, for example, a user can convert easy to-collect tree data, such as species and diameter, into estimates of the tree’s carbon storage, air pollution reduction or ability to prevent rainwater from entering the sewer system.
While i-Tree has been a foundational tool for telling the urban forest story from the local to global levels, the i-Tree program needs your help to adapt to tomorrow’s management challenges. They are urging current and future i-Tree users to attend one of three Town Hall sessions where you can share your thoughts on what i-Tree has meant to your work and how you think it should change for the future. The sessions are organized by experience level, but if you cannot make your preferred time, select any that might work for you. Additionally, if you cannot attend but are interested in providing feedback, please register as comments can be captured during the registration process.
- 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 7 – Experienced Users
- Noon on Thursday, April 14 – Moderate Users
- Noon on Thursday, April 21 – Novice and Potential Users
We encourage anyone who has worked with i-Tree to register and submit a few written comments about your experiences and suggestions. The Wisconsin DNR frequently uses the i-Tree tool, and we know that many of our partners have benefited from the tool. If you’re one of those who have used and benefited from i-Tree, please consider attending one of the sessions. To help prepare, consider the following questions:
- How important is i-Tree to the work that you do?
- How might i-Tree be more responsive to urban community needs, particularly those who advocate locally?
- How might i-Tree assist your work related to tree equity?
- What barriers do you encounter that prevent you from realizing the true potential of i-Tree?
- What improvements would you like to see in i-Tree?