Executive Director’s Report August 2021
Federal Policy Update – Here’s a link to the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition advocacy webpage – this captures all of the letters the coalition has sent to Congress regarding issues and opportunities affecting U&CF.
Forest Service Regional Update – Miranda Hutton and Sherry Hazelhurst from the US Forest Service have recorded a welcome message for our conference. Inspiring!
Forest Service Funding – Reports, both written and financial were submitted to the Forest Service in July, for the first half of 2021.
Forest Service Research – No update.
Cal Fire – We submitted three applications to the CAL FIRE grant program. That’s ambitious, but you don’t know if you don’t try. Cross your fingers!
State Policy & Advocacy –
- Our co-sponsored bill, with State Senator Anna Caballero, AB347, The California Community & Neighborhood Tree Fund – made it through both the Senate and the Assembly and was signed by Governor Newsom a few weeks ago! No new taxes – CA taxpayers can opt-in and make a donation to the urban forestry fund when they file their tax returns! The funds will go to CAL FIRE U&CF. YAY!
CIRCLE 4.0 Amplifying Urban Forestry –
Things are moving forward on plans for the 3/22/2022 statewide tree planting event in 30 cities.
Here are our cities thus far:
Cool Parks Program – No update.
City Forest Renewal 1.0 – proceeding, no update.
# Removals (Goal 100-150)
Removals % Invoiced
Webinar Next Steps
Reviewing budget/reporting, some removals/replanted trees not in excel tracker but present in AA or incorrect
- Pomona – over budget for policy/assessment/UW by $2,400.
- Upland – over budget for policy/assessment/UW by $5,400 & removals by $675
- Vista- billed UW to incorrect job#, being revised
- Agency Updates:
- LCF – Staff reviewing policy and treemap, on board with language/requirements. Removals to increase monthly. Working on a date for the workshop. Tripepi Smith is following up with the city on CFR participation. UW policy will not be adopted.
- Corona – Legal reviewing UFMP policy, final version due back to us in August. Policies are being implemented currently. ETA end of July ~ 30 more replantings have been completed.
- Upland – Completed removals. Replanting is to begin in Oct & ramp up in summer (~150). The workshop moved to 9/23.
- Pomona – Final draft UFMP received > Will be presented to CC on 9/20
- Vista – Discussing webinar/workshop internally, will F.U with dates. UW staging at Park – October.
- Santa Ana – ETAC presentation 9/14, TBD on WCA. attendance/participation. UFMP Going to council 10/4.
- Covina – Final draft of the UFMP received, headed to planning commission (TBD) then city council (TBD). Workshop – post UFMP finalization. Pending UW photos from John/City on park opening. * Wants to remove more, budget @ $7,515, Sandy discussing internally.
- Each removal is $45 per inch, ~167 inches of tree removals remaining.
Regional Councils Workshops/Webinars:
City Forest Renewal 2.0 – This grant is now underway with MOU’s with three cities and continued outreach. Tentative partners.
The Intersection Between Wildland Urban Interface and Urban Forestry – This event was postponed and an approach is being thought through, potentially using focus groups instead of large groups, due to COVID-19. We will have a better description for you by the next meeting. Reflecting the changes. Event Title is: Bridging the Gap: Urban Forestry in High Fire Risk Communities – An Urban Forestry Learning Lab.
Prop 1 – California Coastal Conservancy – Our final paperwork is moving to the legal department for final sign-off. Their project management is not entirely focused on understanding our project or making it easy for us to deliver on what they’ve approved for us to do. Hopefully, now we can start to formally move on this.
Regional Councils – It would be fabulous to have the councils submit a monthly report to support our reporting to the Forest Service – here’s the link; we can try again! https://caufc.org/regional-council-report/
2021 Conference – we are in planning stages with The Urban Wood Network – entitled Invest From The Ground Up – Trees First Wood Next, organizing a virtual conference for October 14-15, 2021. We will be bridging urban forestry and climate change and essentially a cradle-to-cradle focus on the UF including end-use planning. The agenda has come together and we should have it available any day. We are beginning to nail down the process and the participants. Volunteers welcomed!
American Forests – the survey questions are being finalized for our grant team to reach out to organizations that offer green-jobs training or would like to expand on that.
Certification – SAF has received a report and is evaluating their position on this. More to follow.
Board member changes – no update.
Updated Employee Handbook – I’ve sent the final edits back to the attorney. Hopefully, I’ll have it for your review next month.
Outreach – lots of outreach going on for the haiku contest, the awards program, drought, and the upcoming conference.
I submitted a supplementary proposal to CAL FIRE/US Forest Service for funding to implement an outreach campaign to city and county leadership and decision-makers regarding healthy urban forests and the reason it is important to maintain trees during drought. – I’ve been told we will hear soon on this.
Possible Ad Hoc Committees – Nick Harvey’s Cutting boards project; Advertising Guidelines
Strategic Plan Update – final conversation will be had on 8/18/21 board call. The board still has deliverables to address!
Annual Report – in process. We promise!