Minutes: June 17, 2022



Board Members:
Emina Darakjy, Laura Burnett, Mona Cummings, Nancy Sappington, Nick Harvey, Gordon Mann, Magen Shaw, Daniel Kump, Elizabeth Lanham, Emily Spillett, Anne Fenkner. 

Nancy Hughes, Dorothy Abeyta


Board Members:
Bob Blum, Sarah Gaskin, Sara Davis

Deb Etheredge (excused)

Action Items

  • Review, Approve Agenda, Consent Calendar
  • 2022 Conference Planning
  • CaUFC Awards
  • Board Member Training
  • Advocacy
  • Statewide Greenprint
  • Strategic Plan Goals


Consent Calendar approved with the addition of a discussion of Annual Awards to the Meeting Agenda

Executive Director’s Report primarily focused on the current audit/review of City Forest Renewal 1.0 CalFire grant activities. Reported to BOD that errors were made by the contractor (West Coast Arborists) regarding the quantity of grant work allowed outside the disadvantaged communities (DACs) as required by the grant guidelines and also the approved reasons for tree removal. Dorothy’s review of the background work found the errors are primarily due to multiple turnovers of the grant managers employed by WCA and a lack of thorough understanding by the grant managers of the requirements of the grant. In addition, CalFire guidelines changed over the three-year period which added to the confusion.

Financials are not accurate with missing complete compliment of data due to CalFire audit and non-payment. The accountant (Leda Schulak) has determined that CaUFC has about $150,000 in cash.

Conference Planning – Elizabeth Lanham

EL reported two keynote speakers are confirmed: Matt Ritter, CalPoly San Luis Obispo, and Amanda Hanson, Natural Resources Agency’s Deputy Secretary for Climate Change.

Artist: Kim Abeles is an American interdisciplinary artist and activist artist because of her work’s social and political nature.

Other topics for consideration: Environmental Justice, Stormwater Practices, Drought and Tree Management, Regional Council Round Table, Angel City Lumber, City of LaQuinta UF Program, Palm Desert UF Program.

Please see the working Google Sheet attached for the upcoming conference. Please note that this is comment-only, so if you have suggestions, you can either email Elizabeth or add a comment to the sheet. The link to the sheet is here.

California Urban Forestry Awards – Emily Spillett

We need nominations for six awards. The categories and the nomination form can be found on the CaUFC website Celebrate excellence in urban forestry.

We need sponsorship!

Board Member Training – Nancy

All of this information is found in the Board Packet!

ByLaws were revised in 2010

Employee Handbook was developed with the help of the law firm Nixon-Peabody

Governance Framework is comprehensive. Page 7 has a flow chart that helps explain how CaUFC functions.

Financial Policies updated in 2021.

Conflict of Interest every Board Member should sign each year. Nancy passed out the forms and each board member signed except Bob Blum and Sara Gaskin who were not present.

Travel Policy was discussed ad nauseum. The final vote confirmed a decision to raise the reimbursement for Board Member travel from $300 to $700.

Advocacy – Tasha Newman, Pacific Policy Group

CaUFC has three major priorities:

  1. CalFire U & CF support is the top priority.
  2. California Department of Food and Agriculture research.
  3. Oppose legislation harmful to our mission.

Budget Process in the legislature was explained. A $300 billion budget was sent to the Governor. $100 million for U&CF and Urban Greening. The question is how those funds will be divided between CalFire and the Natural Resources Department.

There is also a $4.3 billion for Climate and Energy packet. The decision on where the funds are distributed will not happen until the end of August. Proposals include Extreme Heat mitigation and $50 million for greening schools.

Q&A: The list of bills is in two categories – those that have been derailed (DEAD) and those that are still being discussed (see board packet). Those moving forward are bills that support Extreme Heat and/or Climate Change.

AB 2114 California Pocket Forest Initiative is heading to the appropriations committee.

AB 2251 is tied to the Urban Forestry Act. CalFire must increase the overall canopy.

SB 347 (Caballero) for Voluntary Tax to support UF was not on the 2021 taxes but should be on the taxes for 2022.

Letters of Support will be needed in late August. Mike Palat suggested requesting the employee union at WCA submit a support letter.

Statewide Greenprint – Gordon Mann

Develop best management practices for promoting maintenance and expansion of California’s urban tree canopy and urban forests. Users of the Greenprint would have access to fast-tracked permitting.

Strategy [from Gordon]: The objective would be to create a statewide canopy cover goal that can be broken up by either our UF council regions, populated areas such as Council of Governments, Bay Area, Sacramento, LA, Inland, however they exist to move municipal things forward with a focus on achieving the Greenprint canopy goals.

The UF practices that help communities get there. The tools to help community persons in both those communities that do not have professional tree care folks, and those that have engineers, planners, or PW managers running the tree care folks with exposure to the tools so they can attend council meetings and educate their communities from the bottom up. So, how do we get the tools out to the people that can make a difference?

We could get support from CalFIRE, but it seems like they have more excuses and are too busy with grants to promote the UF management they are tasked with…. and apparently handcuffed by politics.

Gordon’s presentation needs to be downloaded to view.

CA Greenprint 6-17-22.pptx

Strategic Plan Goals – Open Discussion

The packet contains the 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan which was updated by the Board in June 2021. Strategy #3 Recruit & retain an engaged fundraising & partnership building board of directors. The fundraising has not been realized. CaUFC Board needs to reach out to corporate sponsors to help raise funds to support the organization’s goals.

Regional Councils need to agree and collaborate on statewide programs and goals rather than small projects for each region.

Brainstorming Notes – Emily Spillett

  • Ideas
    • similar to past project in Hollywood
    • bringing education to schools
      • drop in teaching
      • nature play, nature bridge, city tree,
    • Scout Troops
    • Tree Stewards
    • Student Conservation Association
    • Test Plot (terramota) native planting
    • bigger impact self-promoting that
    • sustainable messaging
    • Altamont beer works
    • Carl Strauss
    • Furthering education and outreach
    • Green printing would need mapping,
    • Volunteer Coordination/Partnering with
    • Engage in Non-Tree Outdoor Thinking
    • Media Campaign
    • Tree Drinks
  • Rules of Engagement
    • not our story to tell, raising the narrative
    • Adding equity analysis or planning with any education and outreach
    • Events need to be Media savvy
    • Partner with org in the community you want to reach

Board work on Equity Needed:

  • need a statement of our goals
  • as we add to who we are:
    • adding board staff towards equity and overall goals  (ie adding non-tree people)


  • Fundraising Campaign
  • Private Grants
  • Non CalFire Grants (water, air, DOT)

Adding CAUFC support staff or program manager

Hiring a professional fundraiser

Communications Director Report

Report on how our communication channels are doing. This is a 9:43 minute section. https://youtu.be/fh-12mR0ZNQ

This section talks about campaigns we are working on. 10:07 minutes


This section talks about what we did for the AMPlify grant. 16:54 minutes.


Links and Other Stuff

Here is the link to the regional report which is required quarterly.


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