July 2019

Federal Policy Update

No direct update, however I heard from our Congressman’s Office asking all about urban forestry and carbon. I was able to share things that the Forest Service could not share directly because of limitations on their ability to talk about certain science and programs. I gave them an overview of all of our carbon projects, of the legislative efforts in Sacramento, etc. I suggested two things as simple ways to address tis on the Federal level: model a grant program after CalFire’s U&CF program and do a reboot of the Forest Service’s efforts with the 50 urban forest councils. I’ve offered to be of further service if they need us.

Forest Service Regional Update

No update

Forest Service Funding

We have a signed contract to address the intersection of urban forestry and the urban rural interface and fire in the UF. I have some preliminary work to do with our organizational budget overall to see about a new hire or an outside contract. I am also looking at alternate office space to inform decisions.

Forest Service Research

Sadly for us, Researcher Nora Davis, based at the LA Urban Research Center is moving to New Zealand! A great adventure awaits her and her family but we will miss her excellent contributions.

Cal Fire

We are awaiting the signed contract back from CalFire for the Urban Tree Removal and Education Project. Once received we will begin planning that implementation as well.

CUFAC

Draft Strategic Plan is in review stage. We will be reviewing next week. Several of us are meeting with Chief Porter the following week.

State Policy & Advocacy

The legislature goes on recess as of Friday.

Program Updates

CIRCLE Projects (Cap & Trade Funding)

CIRCLE 1.0

Monitoring only, no update

CIRCLE 2.0

Sending out text messages to tree recipients to remind them to water along with other tree tidbits;

High-Speed Rail CIRCLE 3.0

Planning is underway for the final Community Canopy Trees for this Fall and the numbers are coming in strong – We have a Story Map here

Cool Parks Program

Ramping up – we have MOUs with eight cities currently, and we are in discussion with five more. 2,500 trees will be planted in disadvantaged neighborhood parks either this Fall or next Spring with follow-up care.

2019 Conference

The website is live and final details will be nuanced over the next few days. Deb did a wonderful job! We have raised $23,000 is sponsorship which includes $10k form the Forest Service/CalFire from our current Forest Service grant. I am so happy and appreciative to our sponsors and volunteers. Emina Darakjy, Board member for LA/OC is managing our silent auction donations so please be in touch with her with your contributions!

Other

  • Audit – our audit is scheduled for August 26 – 29th the 10 days prior will be all prep!.
  • Participating with Drawdown Marin (getting to zero carbon) on a biomass planning committee to evaluate the entire county’s tree canopy: urban and wildlands, as well as each city! Our goal of a local tree group very well may be an outcome of this effort too. We may be able to direct some of our funds from Cool Parks to do a tree planting in San Rafael.
  • I’m heading to Sacramento tomorrow for the Invasive Shot Hole Borer meeting at the CA Department of Food & Ag – then to a farewell gathering for Robert Little form CalFire 🙁

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Hughes