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ecosystem disservices, ecosystem services, environmental equity, landcover, urban forest governance

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Background: Public engagement is needed to make sure urban forestry management efforts align with the values of the public being served. Noting this, we determined current and desired urban forest access of Florida (United States) residents using the criteria from the 3-30-300 rule (i.e., 3 trees visible from home, 30% canopy in neighborhood, and a green space within 300 meters of home). Methods: A survey of 1,716 Florida residents was conducted to assess canopy coverage and green space access. Respondents were then asked if this level of urban forest access was sufficient for their needs. We also asked their perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of urban trees and whether they had any negative interactions with trees in the past. Results: We found that 37.3% of Florida residents met all three criteria of the 3-30-300 rule. Despite this, half the respondents would prefer more trees in their neighborhoods. When asked to name the top benefits provided by trees, the most common responses were shade, beauty, and attracting wildlife. The most common drawbacks to urban trees included risk to property, leaves/debris, and fears regarding storms and hurricanes. Conclusions: Florida residents largely value their urban forest and would like to see it maintained or enhanced. Improving access to greenspaces for recreation is the most pressing concern for urban forest managers in Florida looking to meet the requirements of the 3-30-300 rule. Results from this study can inform and test urban forest management at national and global scales.

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Preprints, v. 2023, art. 2023051760