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Learn
about the WisUFA Program structure.
Discover
answers to common questions about the program [PDF]
Contact information
For information on the Wisconsin Urban Forest Assessment Program:
Andy Stoltman
Rural and urban forest inventory analyst
608-266-9841

Dan Buckler
Urban forest assessment specialist
608-267-0843

Urban Forestry Assessment (WisUFA) ProgramUrban Tree Canopy (UTC) Analysis

Increasing and improving a community's tree canopy can have numerous benefits, from reducing home cooling costs in the summer, to improving human physical and mental well-being. These factors can help lead to stronger social ties among neighbors and build stronger communities.

Aerial map of tree canopy

Aerial photo showing a community's tree canopy.

The aim of an urban tree canopy (UTC) assessment is to help decision makers understand their urban forest resources, particularly the amount of tree canopy that currently exists and the amount that could exist. The information from an UTC assessment can be used to develop:

  • canopy goals;
  • locations for tree planting efforts;
  • establish urban forestry strategic plans;
  • understand patterns of environmental justice;
  • inform sustainability plans; and
  • justify budget increases for urban forestry programs.

Wisconsin's efforts

Freely available, high spatial resolution imagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) will be used to determine urban tree canopy percentages for all Wisconsin communities. In order to accomplish this, the DNR has partnered with faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin Madison to develop and implement image classification methodologies best suited for quantifying tree canopy in the urban landscape. These efforts will result in percentage and area estimates of land cover types within metro and municipal boundaries, including tree canopy, non-tree vegetation, impervious surface/bare soil, wetlands and water. These data are expected to be available in late-2017.

In addition, the statewide UTC assessment will be uploaded to the web-based i- Tree Landscape [exit DNR] platform to further refine estimates of urban forest ecosystem services calculated in the application.

Last revised: Friday August 04 2017