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  • Wisconsin Statewide Urban Forest Assessment: Development

    and Implementation

    By

    Ian K. Brown

    A Thesis Submitted in partial fulfillment of the

    requirements of the degree

    MASTER OF SCIENCE IN

    NATURAL RESOURCES (URBAN FORESTRY)

    College of Natural Resources

    UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN Stevens Point, Wisconsin

    May 2007

  • APPROVED BY THE GRADUATE COMMITTEE OF:

    _________________________________________ Dr. Richard Hauer

    Assistant Professor of Forestry

    _________________________________________ Mr. Les Werner

    Instructor of Forestry

    _________________________________________ Dr. Eric Larsen

    Assistant Professor of Geography

    _________________________________________ Dr. Jan Harms

    Associate Professor of Forestry

    i

  • Abstract

    The urban forest is an integral part and significant contributor to urban landscapes.

    Approximately 80% of the US population interacts with urban forests on a daily basis.

    The ecologic, sociologic, and economic benefits provided by urban trees have been

    shown to be worth billions of dollars. Urban forestry has been recognized within the

    scientific literature for over 30 years. As public education pertaining to the urban forest

    continues, it has become clear that a lack of a standardized definition complicates

    transmission of the message. This study used a content analysis of 77 scientific and

    reference articles to determine the primary constituents comprising definitions of the

    urban forest and urban forestry. We discovered that urban forestry definitions created

    since the first by Jorgensen are either similar or partial representations of his. Likewise,

    definitions of the urban forest created since Moeller have neither added to his or were

    partial representations. This study also developed spatial definitions of the urban forest.

    A programmatic spatial definition to delineate the areas considered urban by the

    Wisconsin DNR Urban and Community forestry program was developed and compared

    to areas spatially represented by urban areas in the 2000 census using ESRI Arc 9.1

    software. It was determined that the most representative spatial extent at this time

    comprised both the 2000 census urban areas and all cities and all villages within

    Wisconsin. With the standard urban forest definition and programmatic spatial

    representation, this study makes contributions to both the theoretical and application

    components of urban forest research.

    ii

  • Acknowledgements

    I owe a debt of gratitude to my graduate committee, fellow students, friends, and family,

    all who have helped throughout the development of this thesis. Each has made

    significant contributions to this thesis that would have not been possible without their

    participation and encouragement.

    To my graduate committee of Dr. Hauer, Mr. Werner, Dr. Larsen, and Dr. Harms, I

    express my gratitude for your guidance both inside and outside of the classroom. I also

    thank Richard Rideout for providing insight and an important research project to address.

    As my advisor, additional recognition is due to Dr. Hauer for the many hours and ideas

    you made available. I will always be indebted to you for your assistance in my academic

    growth and the opportunities you provided.

    To my fellow students, I appreciate the feedback and insight that was provided during

    seminars and class. Your additional areas of expertise and input helped to broaden the

    audience of this thesis.

    Finally, recognition is due to my friends and family who have supported me throughout

    this entire journey. Friends were there to provide a social outlet when I got bogged down

    studying. And my family has always been a source of constant and unwavering support

    in every endeavor. I could not have a better group of people providing guidance and I

    thank you all.

    iii

  • Table of Contents

    ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................. ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................ iii LIST OF TABLES ...................................................................................................... vi LIST OF FIGURES.................................................................................................... vii LIST OF APPENDICES ........................................................................................... viii CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................1 Urban and community forestry......................................................................................5 Defining the urban forest...............................................................................................7 Previous urban forest assessment ..................................................................................8 Approaches for assessing urban forests.........................................................................9 Remote sensing assessment .........................................................................................11 FIA assessment ............................................................................................................11 State and local assessment...........................................................................................13 Project objectives.........................................................................................................15 CHAPTER 2: PROJECT SCOPE AND METHODS .................................................16 Comparison of urban forest and urban forestry definitions.........................................16 GIS integration, layer creation, and comparison .........................................................19 CHAPTER 3: TOWARDS A UNIFIED URBAN FOREST AND URBAN FORESTRY DEFINITION .........................................................................................23 Abstract........................................................................................................................23 Introduction .................................................................................................................24 Methods .......................................................................................................................28 Results .........................................................................................................................29 Discussion....................................................................................................................37 People centered urban forest descriptions ...................................................................39 Geographical depictions of the urban forest................................................................40 Urban forest benefit models ........................................................................................41 Resource comprising the urban forest .........................................................................43 Activity associated with urban forestry .......................................................................44 Science validating urban forestry ................................................................................45 Conclusion...................................................................................................................46 CHAPTER 4: SPATIAL REPRESENTATION OF THE WISCONSIN URBAN FOREST ......................................................................................................................48 Abstract........................................................................................................................48 Introduction .................................................................................................................49 Methods .......................................................................................................................54 Results .........................................................................................................................57

    iv

  • Discussion....................................................................................................................63 Future work .................................................................................................................66 CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY AND FUTURE IMPLICATIONS..................................69 Summary......................................................................................................................69 Future Implications......................................................................................................70 LITERATURE CITED................................................................................................72 APPENDIX A ............................................................................................................87 Proposed definitions of urban forestry and related terms............................................87 Proposed definitions of the urban forest and

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