Executive Director’s Report February 2021
Federal Policy Update – Nothing yet.
Forest Service Regional Update – No update.
Forest Service Funding – we have been informed that we will be having a Five Year Review! Not quite an audit, but very thorough. We need to be ready by April.
Forest Service Research – No update.
Cal Fire –
The legislature is back at work, and for the most part virtually. We are beginning work on co-sponsoring an Urban Forestry Bill with State Senator Anna Caballero. How the funding gets focused is being channeled. This is exciting, and it is being kept very simple, essentially further procuring funds for CAL FIRE U&CF and the Strategic Growth Council’s Urban Greening program, by allowing CA taxpayers to check a box on their tax forms to donate money to trees in CA! This can grow over time, and we have a long way to go.
The Governor actually has included $10 Million in his budget for U&CF for the current year budget and another $13 million for the 2022 budget – a first! It is expected that the funds will be released simultaneously. CalFire will in most likelihood offer grant funding applications later this year.
CUFAC – (California Urban Forest Advisory Committee – to CAL FIRE) – next event 3/25/2021.
State Policy & Advocacy – see above.
NEW – CIRCLE 4.0 Amplifying Urban Forestry –
Work continues with planning meetings being held including with Project Learning Tree, Treetures, marketing folks at Taylor guitar, and Matt Ritter at Cal Poly SLO. We are working on an educational “APP” for kids partnering with Treetures and Harvey Mudd College while planning events out into 2022. As well, video production is underway with Beatie Wolf and Taylor Guitar, along with Street Tree Revival. – Nothing new to report beyond this.
Cool Parks Program –
Event tentatively planned for Novato, CA, April 24, 2021, 100 trees in three locations. COVID-19 may continue to impact our events.
Number of Trees
City Forest Renewal. No update this month.
The Intersection Between Wildland Urban Interface and Urban Forestry –
Daniel Jackman is the project manager through Davey Resource Group. I have received four reports regarding the research underway, through December. As well, The Center for Urban Natural Resources Sustainability’s new researcher, Francisco Escobedo, is beginning research into this topic too, bringing more resources to the table including social scientists, biologists, economists and more. We will be looking at combining efforts. We held our first planning call scheduled with the team and Eric Douglas, our facilitator, for our outreach into the community and the workshops we will be facilitating later this year, supporting our efforts to meet our goals of the grant and support U&CF recognition in fire impacted communities. Our next event planning meeting is later this month.
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/
San Diego is the first Council to take advantage of sponsoring a webinar partnering on our City Forest Renewal policy update efforts. Reminder! Each council that does so will get an extra $1000 for the support.
Webinars – Our webinar on 2/2/20 entitled HOT & DRY! Cutting Edge Urban Forestry Efforts Outside of California! Was excellent and very well received.
Our bookkeeper, Morgan McCurdy has submitted her resignation, with one-month’s notice. I will begin a search for a new team member next week.
Prop 1 – California Coastal Conservancy We have preliminary news that our grant submittal has been approved for funding in 2021 utilizing our current model working with cities, community-based groups, etc., to plant 500 trees in the San Gabriel Watershed. Their board meets in February 2021 to make final authorizations.
Outreach – We are working on materials as an outgrowth of our webinar with Ming Kuo This is so excited! If you haven’t seen the webinar, you must! https://caufc.org/growing-human-health-equity/ Deb will have an update on this roll-out
We also have a new intern – Hannah Romano, working with Deb on our social media posts.
Board of Directors Trainings –
Advocacy, March 18th during normal monthly board call time with an additional ½ tagged on.
Note: I’ve had my first of two COVID-19 vaccines, the next is on the 16th. I’m hoping I won’t have side-effects, but if so I may be lying low for a few days.
Please be well; stay healthy and strong!