Executive Director’s Report September 13, 2022

Forest Service – Washington DC Update – The “Inflation Reduction Act” passed the Senate and will deliver on some urban forestry and green infrastructure and green jobs. California should benefit greatly.

Forest Service Funding – We did not receive the grant funding. It was a long shot. Those awarded: Institute for Engagement and Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia and West Cary Group (WCG) and American Forests. https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/urban-forests/ucf/2022-nucfccsp

Cal Fire – We held another Zoom call with CAL FIRE & WCA on August 30th to discuss our latest attempt to address their concerns. We sent a packet to Walter Passmore on July 13th with these points all fully prepared. Apparently, he didn’t review our packet so acted surprised that we had sent it. We also had written to him a few weeks after sending it to see if he had gotten it, and there was no reply to that either. Anyway, since then, I have met in person with John Melvin to discuss the path forward. We and WCA, Inc. will be creating a bulleted list of remediation steps to address CAL FIRE’s issues and hope to wrap this up in terms of obligations and a timeline in the near future. Andy Trotter from WCA also met with Walter Passmore yesterday, September 7th.

Programmatic Efforts Going Forward – We are fully submerged in the conference planning currently, but these other opportunities will continue with rollout after the conference.

State Policy & Advocacy
Since CAL FIRE U&CF is flush with cash for the foreseeable future, our advocacy may shift to working with the Office of Planning and Research and CA Natural Resources Agency to integrate urban forestry into cities’ General Plans’ requirements. We will work with Gordon Mann and Ray Tretheway and the GreenPrint model design. More to come…

Conference – Our agenda is amazing. Please continue to get the word out! Registrants are needed, and more sponsors are welcomed. Donations to the silent auction are needed too.
A successful conference needs to be our main focus! Please help with our premier event!

Bookkeeping/Taxes/Audit, etc. – Leda, our bookkeeper, has turned in her resignation; August 31st was her last day. I can’t focus on this well until after the conference, but I have some ideas.

Program Updates – No updates.

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 – thank you all for getting your reports in! I think we can stick to the quarterly method going forward, so the next one will be due at the end of September. Deb has converted the report to a Google Doc.
It is time we started getting more local events going, too (I know many of you are up to stuff). How can I/we help? Let’s talk!

Outreach – monumental amount of outreach is taking place for the conference currently

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. We could cancel October’s meeting as we will be busy with the conference.

Board Recruitment – I have created an AD Hoc Recruitment committee, and I distributed materials to be reviewed. Gordon attended the last scheduled meeting. I work on this further after the conference. Please, each board member submits a minimum of one person to be considered by the committee by the end of October. Thanks!

Reminder: board member’s agreement to contribute $500 either directly or through other opportunities (Regional Council members excluded unless they are eager!)

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Hughes

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