Send a Message to Washington State Representatives

Amend and Pass SHB 1078 to Plant and Maintain Replacement Trees

SHB 1078 requires the Department of Natural Resources to establish optional model ordinances and recommendations for the use of tree banks, including criteria for siting tree banks and providing best practices for maintaining newly planted trees.

SHB 1078 is now stuck in the House Appropriations Committee. Please urge this bill be amended as recommended below, and passed to the full House for a vote.

The biggest change from last year’s unsupportable version of the bill, is that the 2024 version removes the requirement that cities must allow all requirements of local tree ordinances be satisfied by a tree bank; the revised 2024 bill directs DNR to draft model tree protection ordinances that include a voluntary “tree bank”.

We continue to advocate that developers maximize the retention of existing trees during development.

Increased development is making it more difficult to retain trees, and this bill is urging cities to replant new trees needed to increase climate resiliency and environmental equity. SHB 1078 is an important step in this direction; however, the use of the term “tree banks” is confusing and has different meanings, including trees in nursery situations and tree stock development. We urge the terminology change from “tree banks” to “tree replanting areas”.

Additionally, we urge support for the following amendment:

Replace the definition of “Tree Banks” in the bill with the following:

“Tree Replanting Areas can be designated by a community to replace trees removed that cannot be retained or replanted on site. To compensate for tree loss, tree replanting programs shall provide for the payment of a fee in lieu to cover the cost of buying, planting, maintaining, and watering replacement trees to ensure their survival.”

Please send an email today to urge the House to add these changes and to pass SHB 1078.