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Seeing the Landscape from the Trees: An Ecosystemic Approach to Urban Forestry

The term “urban forest” is often used to refer to all the trees within a city or town. But the urban forest is part of a much larger social-ecological landscape that supports a complex web of biodiversity, ecosystem services, values, and cultures.  The people and organizations responsible for stewarding these landscapes often must draw upon science and foster conversations with a wide range of stakeholders that integrate these far-reaching considerations and complexity, yet still make decisions in hopes of improving outcomes. 

In this presentation, Dr. Francisco Escobedo with the USDA Forest Service will set the stage for the integration of broader ecological considerations with urban forestry goals and objectives.  Rachel Malarich, City Forest Officer for the City of Los Angeles, will frame LA’s efforts toward more expansive, resilient, and equitable tree cover vis-a-vis soil, water, and people.  Kat Superfisky, Urban Ecologist with the City of Los Angeles, will share how an ecosystemic approach is critical to maintaining not just resilient urban forests, but also resilient habitats and landscapes.