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Nevada has some of the fastest-warming cities. Is urban forestry the answer?

FILE - People cross Las Vegas Boulevard on July 2, 2021, in Las Vegas.
John Locher
/
AP
FILE - People cross Las Vegas Boulevard on July 2, 2021, in Las Vegas.

We don’t think we're speaking out of turn when we say spring in Nevada is incredibly beautiful. It’s a great time of year to get outside, play some ball, or go hiking or camping.

It’s also progressively fleeting. That’s because Nevada is home to some of the fastest-warming cities in the country.

Part of the problem is a lack of tree canopy in urban settings.

According to the federal Department of Agriculture, communities nationwide are losing about 175,000 acres of tree cover per year.

East Las Vegas, where the temperatures are among the highest in the valley, is a prime example. It has miles of cement, asphalt and rooftops, but very few trees or green spaces.

That’s why lawmakers in Nevada are considering a measure that would incentivize the planting and maintenance of trees in cities and towns across the state.

But just how effective will it be?


Guests: Cayenne Engle, urban and community forestry program coordinator, Nevada Division of Forestry; Lisa Ortega, executive director, Nevada Plants

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.
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