Executive Director’s Report March 8, 2022
NOTE: WE HAVE BEEN WORKING NON-STOP ON OUR BIG, 30 CITY, EVENT ON 3/12/22. A HUGE LIFT! Things will normalize by the end of March – hallelujah!
Federal Policy Update – I attended the annual Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition conference this week – virtually. A lot was discussed about ongoing Federal funding opportunities. The Forest Service’s Urban Forestry budget is $40M – this is the highest t has ever been, which is good news. The Build Back Better (BBB) bill doesn’t have a good chance currently, and with the war in Ukraine, attentions are elsewhere, understandably. Saying that it may be that certain portions of BBB will be pulled out and sent through individually with bipartisan support. Stay tuned. Beattra Wilson is the new head of Urban and Community Forestry at the Forest Service and is bringing some great energy and positive ideas to the program.
Forest Service Regional Update – No update
Forest Service Funding –
Funded through 6.30.2023 at $200K
Forest Service Research – I will be attending the quarterly meeting of the advisory team meeting where we’ll get an update on the research and the fellowship work coming out of the LA Urban Center.
Cal Fire –
We are nearly ready to submit a remediation package to CAL FIRE regarding the outstanding issues on our removal grant. Dorothy Abeyta, our new Program Oversight Manager, has been working with the team at WCA and some great solutions are being put forward to resolve the issues and move forward to meet the required deliverable for the grant. Reach out if you have any questions.
State Policy & Advocacy –
You can make a tax-deductible donation to CAL FIRE U&CF on THIS YEAR’S CA TAX RETURN – so do it! We worked on and co-sponsored this bill last year that made this funding available. We are also working on standard advocacy efforts to shore-up funding for CAL FIRE and access portions of the funds being allocated for Urban Heat Remediation.
Conference –Deb and I have determined the last two weeks of September for our target dates. Does anyone want to be the chairperson??? WE WILL NEED A SUPPORT TEAM FORM THE BOARD for this year’s event. Though we have pulled it off year after, it is a tremendous amount of work and it potentially pulls us off other deliverables.
Bookkeeping/Taxes/Audit, etc. – No update
2022 Budget – We will discuss on tomorrow’s call
Program Updates –
All moving forward on track. We got an extension on the Cool Parks and City Forest Renewal 1.0 grants through March 2023. This will help us wrap up without a rush.
Amplify the Urban Forest’s event on March 12th could use your professional assistance on that Saturday. This is our final board meeting prior to the event. Lots of plate spinning but it appears that it is all coming together nicely. www.caufc.org to see the amazingness of this event. We would love to see some love from our board members and attendance as a spokesperson at these events and act as eyes and ears. Some of you have stepped up! Thank you for your support!
Regional Councils – We held a meeting as requested by the Forest Service to bring the councils up to speed on the Federal requirements for funding. Most of it is around equity, inclusion, and diversity. For those of you who couldn’t attend, we need to schedule a meeting so you can utilize your Federal funding. I think it was Sacramento and Inland. Please reach out to me.
As discussed on the call last month, 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/
If we can’t demonstrate how the money is being utilized by the councils, it makes it difficult for me to ask for more.
Outreach – See Deb’s report
Board of Directors –
PLEASE NOTE – Our June meeting will be in-person, in San Diego at Balboa Park, thanks to our San Diego Council Rep, Megan Shaw!
Deb and I have created an online fillable Board Application page. It is ready for use. See if you would like to embellish it further.
A reminder of board members’ agreement to contribute $500 either directly or through other opportunities (Regional Council members excluded unless they are eager!)