Executive Director’s Report November 8, 2022
Forest Service – Washington DC Update – We are still waiting for the details of the “Inflation Reduction Act”. What I do know is that the States will be receiving their annual allocation in the near term, and it sounds like planting deliverables similar to California Climate Initiative. The rest of us will have opportunities to apply for competitive grants next Spring/Summer sometime. We are scheduling a webinar with Miranda Hutten fro March 2023 to give us the full download. She still doesn’t have the information she needs to educate us appropriately. And so we wait.
Forest Service Funding – I have just revised and submitted our paperwork for our 2023-2024 Forest Service Funding of $202,000.00, which starts July 1, 2023.
Cal Fire – We have attempted to schedule another Zoom call with Walter Passmore and CAL FIRE staff. He has asked us to create a concise report with our latest accomplishments, and that is nearly ready to go. There’s a lot in there. WCA has gone to every tree on both contested grants, photographed them, and geo-tagged them. They and we are working with each city to follow through on their signed agreements with us regarding appropriate planting and tree care. COVID-19 and the drought have heavily impacted many cities. We’re getting to the bottom of it and requesting/requiring them to follow through on their commitment. We are compiling a list of replacement tree species that CAL FIRE needs to bless before the cities can proceed. We are asking that cities finish up by early next year as the grants end March 30, 2023.
it was brought up that we might consider having Board Call’s less often. This should be discussed. I’m thinking it’s not actually prudent in terms of keeping information flow current. Still TBD.State Policy & Advocacy –
I will be going to Sacramento soon to meet with Pacific Policy Group and Amanda Hansen about UF policy opportunities.
Conference – We had remarkable speakers and presentations. The conference was well received! I am still wrapping up our income and expenses – not all speakers have submitted their reimbursement requests yet, nor have all sponsors submitted their payments. I’ll be following up on these things in the next few days.
THANK YOU to our board members, the Inland Urban Forest Council (Nancy Sappington), our regional council leaders, and all the volunteers that made the event so successful. Emina brought the silent auction to life and helped create a wonderful funding source for CaUFC! Elizabeth’s support with lining-up speakers delivered big time! Of course, a round of applause for Deb’s remarkable contributions and Dorothy’s managing our hand’s-on needs during the event (along with being my traveling partner!).
Bookkeeping/Taxes/Audit, etc. Still in search of a bookkeeper. I’ve placed three ads, and have reached out to several local independent services. Their fees are untouchable for us. So we keep searching. In the meantime I add that work to my overflowing piles. It all gets done!
Program Updates – Preview on the call but we will be scheduling webinars/workshops throughout 2023 and want to partner with Regional Councils, along with a funding campaign.
The Forest Service-funded – “Mind the Divide” project (UF&WUI) is about to move into the next stage once the revised budget is approved by the Forest Service.
Regional Councils – we need your end of 3rd quarter reports please!
Outreach – Deb will have a report placed on the Board Resources webpage.
Board Meetings – it was brought up that we might consider having Board Calls less often. This should be discussed. I’m thinking it’s not actually prudent in terms of keeping information flow current. Still TBD.
Board Recruitment – I have created an AD Hoc Recruitment committee and I distributed materials to be reviewed. Gordon attended the last schedule meeting. I can work on this further now that the conference is over. Please, each board member submits a minimum of one person to be considered by the committee ASAP. Thanks!
Our Vice-President – it was brought to my attention that Nancy Sappington is meant to be our vice-president! I have no memory of the conversation, nor is it in the minutes but that doesn’t mean it didn’t occur. Both Nancy S. and Emina recall it. I imagine others do too. It was not brought up last December when we reviewed the slate of 2022 candidates, or during the vote in January either. So, we will be voting to add Nancy to the Vice President slot on our call next week.
Wells Fargo Bank Issue – Last month we had an email vote to approve and state who the officers of the organization are, all on one set of minutes for Wells Fargo, along with those who would be signatories, as well as authorize me as an agent of the Board to do Board business. This passed unanimously, minus one absentee.
We now have an issue that Emina is not able to sign-on to a Wells Fargo profile. Based on this the board needs to vote again clarifying a new group of board officers willing to act as CaUFC representatives, without Emina, as Wells Fargo cannot accept the recently approved document now.
This raises the issue of changing banks. Personally, Wells Fargo has been our bank since I began work here in 2005 – it has worked for CaUFC over the years – I have not complaints, but saying that, I am not opposed to finding a new bank if the majority determines that a prudent move. That would be a task for a Board Member to lead, and vet. It would have to be a bank that is statewide, or I suppose online only, but that presents another set of issues, potentially.
Reminder: board member’s agreement to contribute $500 either directly or through other opportunities (Regional Council members excluded unless they are eager!)