The Seattle City Council approved Magnolia resident David Moehring’s appointment to the city’s Urban Forestry Commission at its Jan. 19 meeting.

Moehring, who is a member of the Magnolia Community Council and chair of its Land Use Review Committee, has been an outspoken proponent at the city level for saving trees for a long time.

Moehring, who is an architect, was appointed by Mayor Jenny Durkan to serve on the commission as a representative to the development community. Moehring joins 12 other commissioners who each represent a different interest group or environmental field, including wildlife biologist, landscape architect and arborist. Together, they advise the mayor and City Council on policy and regulations regarding “the protection, management and conservation of trees and vegetation in the City of Seattle,” according to the city’s website.

Moehring said he is already known by many at the city level in his interest for saving trees, and as a development representative with an architectural background, he wants to focus on finding a balance between increasing the number of trees in the city and the need for increased density for housing. It is important, he said, that the city do both.

He said Seattle is losing about 600 to 800 street trees each year, but he fears, with more being taken down on private properties, the city is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to protecting its tree canopy.

Moehring estimates between 2,500 to 3,500 trees are being cleared from residential properties in a year as the city pushes for more density and housing. He said the way density is taking shape at the moment, there isn’t a lot of space to replant trees.

Moehring said, for 100 years in Magnolia, there were large lots with small houses and lots of space for trees. Now, the lots are being divided, and more houses are going in with less room for trees.

“It’s going to be hard to maintain our tree canopy if, over time, those trees are removed,” Moehring said. “We’ve got to work harder to find how we can combine the density and trees and still get the buildings in. We just need to find more opportunities to make that sort of stuff happen.”

According to the Urban Forestry Commission website, Seattle officials set a goal of achieving a 30 percent tree canopy cover by 2037 and adopted the Seattle Urban Forest Stewardship Plan in 2013, which outlines the strategy for accomplishing that mission.

Moehring’s term expires in March of 2022, but he can be appointed for another term, which typically are for three years.