We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Seattle, Washington.  Our mission is to bring the wide range of environmental benefits of trees to our cities and towns in America.  We seek to make American cities greener, healthier, and more equitable by enabling urban tree-planting and preservation projects to earn carbon credits to generate much-needed funding for our declining urban forests.  

We are supported by generous grants from:

  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

  • The Bullitt Foundation

  • Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Foundation

  • Flora Family Foundation

  • Laird Norton Family Foundation

  • McKibben Merner Family Fund

  • Beardsley Family Foundation

Our progress is made possible by hundreds of hours of work by dozens of longtime urban forest professionals. Many of those are listed below as part of our Protocol Drafting Group and our Board of Advisors. Of particular note are the technical assistance and scientific contributions of Dr. Gordon Smith, Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Scott Maco, and Andy Trotter.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson

Mark is the Executive Director of City Forest Credits. Mark is a lawyer and business person and has been active in urban forestry for many years. He drafted the first conservation easement for the City of Seattle Heritage Tree Program over 25 years ago. He received a Founder’s Award from a tree preservation group in Seattle for his legal work in many tree cases. For the ten years prior to founding this non-profit organization, Mark managed a business and co-founded a website. He was a Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and has a Ph.D. and law degree from Harvard.

Mark and several members of the drafting group below served on the work group at the Climate Action Reserve in 2013-14 that developed an urban forest carbon protocol.

Dr. Gordon Smith

Dr. Gordon Smith

Dr. Gordon Smith

Dr. Gordon Smith has made critical contributions to our development of the first-ever City Forest Tree Preservation Protocol. Dr. Smith brings many years of experience in carbon accounting and has consulted with state, federal, private sector, and non-profit organizations on a range of issues relating to GHG standards, accounting, and implementation.

Dr. Smith was an early participant in GHG credit markets, and has extensive expertise across the entire spectrum of mitigating GHG emissions including making land uses more productive, managing land use change, modeling emission benefits, standards development for GHG accounting, project development, project and methodology validation and verification, and verifier accreditation.

Dr. Smith is a member of the editorial board of the journal Carbon Management; member of the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute advisory committee; accredited expert with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in afforestation/deforestation, improved forest management, avoided deforestation (REDD), and agricultural land management; and; member of the AFOLU Technical Committee of the American Carbon Registry (ACR). Formerly, he was Carbon Development Director for the REDD project developer Wildlife Works. Dr. Smith is the Technical Lead for the Sustainable Lands component of the USAID Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR) project. Dr. Smith is the past Chairman of Seattle Mountain Rescue, serves on the organization’s Board of Directors, and is an active operations leader.

Dr. E Greg McPherson

Dr. E Greg McPherson

Dr. E Greg McPherson

Greg is an internationally known scientist who pioneered the quantitative analysis of urban forest benefit-cost analysis. Greg founded the Center for Urban Forest Research with the U.S. Forest Service’s urban forest research unit in Davis, CA. Greg led development of the Carbon Calculator and of the quantitative methodologies on two urban forest protocols in California. Greg has published over 135 peer-reviewed articles and won numerous awards for his work, including the U.S. EPA Honor Award and the U.S. Forest Service 2008 Chief’s Award for Engaging Urban America. He has served on the editorial boards of a number of journals, including Urban Forestry and Urban Greening and the Journal of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. He has served on the Science Advisory Boards of organizations such as American Forests.

Liz Johnston

Liz Johnston

Liz Johnston

As Director at City Forest Credits, Liz works with partners on projects across the country that are pioneering the development of city forest carbon. She has over a decade of experience leading complex social impact and environmental projects and driving change through innovative strategy, team leadership and meticulous project execution. Working with non-profit organizations, local government and Global Fortune 500 companies, she has demonstrated her commitment to creating a healthier, greener and equitable world. Liz grew up in Seattle, Washington and holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University, Huxley College of the Environment.

Aaron K. Nordman, MPA

Aaron K. Nordman, MPA

Aaron K. Nordman, MPA

Drawn to innovative work in the environmental field, as the Carbon Policy, Protocol and Process Improvement Specialist, Aaron conducts research while developing and editing policies and protocols surrounding sustainability, corporate social responsibility, carbon and climate change mitigation, and equitable development. Aaron grew up in South King County playing soccer, reading, and exploring forests, and has resided in Seattle for 7 years. He holds a B.S. with Honors in Psychology and Environmental Studies from Seattle University, and an MPA with an Environmental Policy Specialization from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.

Christine Cole

Christine Cole

Christine Cole

Christine recently joined City Forest Credits as Administrative Manager. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Christine moved to Seattle to explore the vibrant cultures and beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. A dedication to grassroots urban forest stewardship introduced her to the world of non-profit accounting and grant compliance at conservation organizations. She has a B.A. in Management and Operations from Washington State University and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Christine enjoys CrossFit, baking sweet treats, and volunteering.


PROTOCOL DRAFTING GROUP

Zach Baumer Darren Morgan
Climate Program Manager Manager
City of Austin Seattle Department of Transportation 

Rich Dolesh  Heather Sage
Vice President Conservation and Parks Director of Community Projects
National Recreation and Park Association 
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Ian Leahy Misha Sarkovich
Vice President of Urban Forestry Customer Solutions
American Forests Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Scott Maco Skip Swenson
Director of Research and Development Vice President, Policy and Programming
Davey Institute Forterra

Jenny McGarvey Andy Trotter
Forest Programs Manager Vice President of Field Operations
Alliance for Chesapeake Bay West Coast Arborists

Shannon Ramsay Walter Passmore
Founder City Forester
Trees Forever City of Palo Alto

Dr. Greg McPherson Dr. Gordon Smith
Research Scientist Ecofor
U.S. Forest Service Seattle

Mark McPherson
Executive Director
City Forest Credits


Board of Advisors

Pete Smith, Arbor Day Foundation, Urban Forest Program Manager

Ian Leahy, American Forests, Vice President of Urban Forestry

Rachel Holmes, The Nature Conservancy, Coordinator of Urban Forestry Program, Healthy Trees, Health Cities

Skip Swenson, Forterra, Vice President, Policy and Programming

Ara Erickson, Weyerhaeuser Company, Director Corporate Sustainability; former Director of Green Cities Program at Forterra

Gerry Gray, consultant, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition, former Executive Director of the Alliance for Community Trees