The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee recently released its proposed FY 2018 budget, which includes $27.3 million for funding the Urban and Community Forestry Program (U&CF). While this represents a $716,000 reduction from what was allocated this year, it can still be viewed as a victory as the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget would have eliminated all funding for the program, according to the Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition (SUFC).
“All things considered, this is a win for us and we should be pleased with our work thus far,” said Rebecca Turner, co-chair of the SUFC public policy working group. “We’ve got to keep the pressure on the Senate for a similar level.”
According to letters addressed to budget leaders of the House and Senate by the SUFC, the U&CF managed by the U.S. Forest Service, positively impacted more than 7,800 communities and 200+ million people in all 50 states and U.S. territories. “U&CF is a high-impact program and a smart investment as federal support is often leveraged 2:1 (or in many cases significantly more) by states and partner organizations. U&CF engages citizens in cities and towns, brings together diverse partners, public and private resources, and demonstrates that federal investment can have huge and lasting impacts on communities of all sizes.”
The SUFC Policy Working Group and the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Alliance for Community Trees Program conducted a webinar, attended by more than 200 people, to explain the budget process and how to get involved to advocate for Urban and Community Forestry and national appropriations.Click here to access the archived webinar.