Avid Tree Link readers may recall our announcement of the “Urban Forest Pest Readiness Playbook”, back in November, 2019, in partnership with the Washington Invasive Species Council,

The playbook is a tool to prepare communities for potential outbreaks of invasive pests through self-assessments of readiness, as well as suggested follow-up actions to improve readiness.

It provides a set of actions that towns, cities, counties, and urban forestry programs should take to address the threat of forest pests. The purpose of this playbook is to close readiness gaps between federal, state, and local governments.

After using the playbook, users should have an understanding of their organization’s preparedness, documentation of what is already known, and a path forward for improving pest readiness capabilities.

The Playbook is available for download at this link and a complimentary webinar summarizing the pest readiness project is available to view here.

Since the playbook roll-out, additional funding has been received from the USDA Forest Service to continue this work.

Next steps include:

  • continued stakeholder engagement;
  • municipal training events;
  • technical assistance to Washington communities navigating the playbook’s self-assessment protocols; and,
  • solicitation of tree inventory data from Washington communities to identify potential vulnerabilities to known invasive pests.

The DNR Urban & Community Forestry Program will soon be reaching out to local jurisdictions with a request for tree inventory data. Participation by cities, towns, counties, and other public entities is strictly voluntary. Necessary attributes include size, species, condition, and location (spatial reference data).

Once collected, the data will be processed, aggregated, and analyzed by GIS and invasive pest experts with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, given their important role in invasive pest detection, response, quarantine, treatment and eradication efforts.

In addition, DNR will be looking to partner with select communities to collect additional tree inventory data.

Any questions about this upcoming work can be directed to urban_forestry@dnr.wa.gov