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SLC joins global initiative to protect forests


 September 13, 2018

Contact: Holly Mullen, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities

801-673-9735 |

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Salt Lake City joins 45 cities in global effort to protect and restore forests

Mayor Jackie Biskupski, participating this week in the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, has added Salt Lake City to a worldwide initiative of cities committed to addressing climate change by conserving and restoring forests.

The initiative, Cities4Forests, is sponsored by World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries and focuses on six critical issues at the intersection of environment and development: climate, energy, food, forests, water and urban transportation.

“Salt Lake City has an incredible resource in the forests of our Wasatch canyons watershed,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Along with embracing renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gases, our City will continue to lead the state and nation in protecting our forests, as well.”

Laura Briefer, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities, joined the Mayor in her announcement.

“Forest conservation is critical in our role as a water provider,” she said. “The canyon watershed surrounding us provides nearly 60 percent of drinking water for more than 350,000 people. These forests are a buffer against flooding, landslides, soil erosion and water contamination. They support cleaner air and help in the greater effort to keep treatment costs reasonable for our customers.”

The Cities4Forests initiative includes cities as diverse as Bogota, Columbia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Toronto, Vienna, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and Salt Lake City.

The effort works to reduce destruction of trees in rain forests, urban forests and mountain watersheds amid mass development, drought and increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes, flooding and other climate-related disasters.

“Cities have invisible footprints on faraway forests that most people aren’t aware of,” said Frances Seymour, Distinguished Senior Fellow at WRI. “The commodities we consume–timber, paper, palm oil, beef, soybeans–can be responsible for destroying forests. The more we learn about how trees interact with the atmosphere, the more we realize how forests influence climate on both a local and a global scale. Forests are an important source of climate resilience and stability for people, no matter where we live.”







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