Executive Director’s Report October 2020

Federal Policy Update – No update

Forest Service Regional Update – I participated in an advisory team call on September 19th for the LA Center for Urban Natural Resources Sustainability. We met the new US Forest Service Researcher Dr. Francisco Escobedo and reviewed plans for the new research fellows and the potential of an actual in-person gathering for Spring 2021.

Forest Service Funding – No update

Forest Service Research – No update

Cal Fire – Has received approximately $4M from previous unspent bond dollars for urban forestry through the current legislative session. Due to COVID-19’s negative impacts on the State budget no Cap and Trade dollars were allocated AT ALL – anywhere. However, carbon auction sales did increase in August and it is assumed that after the December auction the State will have a significant amount of Cap & Trade dollars to decide what to do with, most likely early in the new year. Backfilling the COVID impacted budget will be a big part of that (illegal, who knows?) and CAL FIRE, and the fires will get more. I’ll keep you posted as I hear more.

CUFAC – (California Urban Forest Advisory Committee – to CAL FIRE) – Next meeting 10/28/2020 – finalizing the new strategic plan and working with U&CF staff for deliverables and applicability.

State Policy & Advocacy  – Working on our focus going forward. It appears I will be making some advocacy trips to Sacramento this Fall – Safely, of course!

Program Updates

NEW – CIRCLE 4.0 (Cap & Trade Funding)

We held our first organizing meeting on the program on 8/28/20. Next meeting today, 9.11.2020.  We have moved the planting date out to Spring of 2022 due to COVID impacts. We will be working with 30 cities and community groups across CA. Taylor Guitar is one of our partners. Along with Taylor comes musician Beatie Wolf. Right now we are looking into contract growing the new species Dr. Matt Ritter is testing and recommending as climate transitional trees. Approximately 25% of the trees we will be planting will fall into this category. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is also a partner. Harvey Mudd College is another partner along with Tree Circus and Treetures. So much to do!

Cool Parks Program

We tentatively have plantings coming back online in October 2020; to be confirmed as we get closer and COVID-19 impacts are being assessed. We have till 2022 on this grant so there is a lot of flexibility to meet obligations. Meanwhile, we are planning for the future. We are working on protocols for planting events and additional safety materials and procedures now.

We held an Instagram/Facebook live event with Sacramento State on 9/24/20!  The new ways to get the work done during COVID-19!

City Forest Renewal.  This project is moving forward as COVID19 is less impactful. These are the cities we have begun work in or are in the planning stages with. We are addressing the removal of dead, dying, and diseased trees due to the ISHB. The cities will replant 2-for-1 for each removal.  Each city is also reviewing its policies and ordinances as we success updates and changes.

The Intersection Between Wildland Urban Interface and Urban Forestry – Daniel Jackman is the project manager through Davey Resource Group. I have received two reports regarding the research underway. 

Working with CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture – no update

Regional Councils – each council is on its own schedule regarding events and five of the seven are generally very active.  However, due to COVID-19 impacts things have been dialed way back.  Most of the efforts are via GOTOMEETIMG or some version of this outreach tool. 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/

Webinars – We are happy to entertain ideas. If you have one reach out.  Otherwise, Deb and I are brainstorming, one, for example, will be on Advocacy.


Financial DocumentsI will be sending you financial documents next Wednesday, along with programmatic/financial documents. We will go through them on our call.

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 and I have also talked with Matthew Browning, the other key researcher on the Kaiser study, and we are looking at creating additional materials for him as we. Deb and I have received the study (proprietary) and are combing it for important facts to share.

Two of the three strategy Committees have met and reviewed their tactics. Committee 3 still needs to schedule. I will have a flowchart completed in time for our next call on October 15th capturing all of the ideas together.

Please be well; stay healthy and strong!

Nancy Hughes

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