Defining Community Forest Issues

Even before you begin the process of developing or revising your ordinance, some issues related to trees and the community forest may already be apparent.  The information you gain through community forest assessments and input during tree ordinance working group and public input meetings will add to your awareness of the issues that you may want to address in your tree ordinance.

The Purposes of Tree Ordinances page describes what tree ordinances can, and cannot do.  Keep this in mind when deciding which of the community forest issues you’ve defined can be addressed in your tree ordinance.

You may not be able to address every issue in your tree ordinance, so have your tree development working group rank the some ranking by the tree development working group.  List all of your issues on paper or on chart pad sheets posted around the room.  Give each group member a set of 5 to 15 colored dots–less if you have a short list of issues, more if you have a long list of issues, and ask them to place dots at their top 5 to 15 issues, or if on paper, rank their top 5 to 15 issues.

When this is done and the rankings are tallied, you’ll have a good idea of which issues are the most important, and maybe most controversial, on your list.  The issues of lesser importance can still be addressed in your ordinance, but will probably be the easier to manage.

Results of a goal setting session in the City of Jefferson, with the highest priority issues circled.