June 2019 Note from the Chairs

With spring speeding right into summer, we hope you are enjoying some outdoor time, shaded by the urban and community forests near you. At SUFC, we’ve done some spring refreshing of our website, began making connections with the tech industry, and shared our priorities on Capitol Hill as the FY 2020 budget process continues. And, it’s not too early to think ahead to next spring — specifically, to our milestone 15th annual meeting, taking place on March 4, 2020, in the Washington, D.C. area.

Connecting with Meeting of the Minds

Following the keynote speech from Meeting of the Minds founder Gordon Feller at the 2019 annual meeting, SUFC Co-chair Mark Garvin and Urban Research Working Group chair Scott Maco traveled to San Francisco to a Meeting of the Minds convening of tech entrepreneurs and executives involved in sustainability initiatives.

SUFC members in attendance introduced themselves and their organizations’ missions to the assembled tech entrepreneurs. Mark gave a brief presentation to introduce SUFC, and urban forestry in general, to the Silicon Valley audience. They, in turn, shared their thoughts on the “big data” available that could be used in ways to support urban and community forest projects. This new outreach effort is one of SUFC’s strategic explorations to connect urban forestry to other spheres.

Policy Update

U&CF Allocated at $40M

It’s budget hearing season on the Hill and we’ve got great news! The House Interior Appropriations subcommittee (which oversees U&CF) allocated $40 million for the U&CF program! The additional $12.395 million is to address pest outbreaks (for Urban and Community Forestry to prevent and address pest outbreaks [like Emerald Ash Borer], improve forest sustainability, combat climate change, and assist with reforestation efforts). Read more HERE.

The SUFC Policy committee will be scheduling Senate Interior Approps meetings in June to support similar language and numbers in the Senate version of the Interior Approps bill.

SUFC Submits FY 2020 Budget Testimony

SUFC submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies on the budget for APHIS programs that help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive pests in the nation’s forests. SUFC also submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies urging support for the Urban and Community Forestry program and other related programs. Additionally, we’ve also been receiving increased interest on urban forests from various offices on the Hill, particularly in relation to how urban forests can impact climate change. 

Coalition Housekeeping

All members should have recently received invoices for dues. The ability to make payments through the Members Area on our website is now available as well; please contact convener@sufc.org with any questions.

If you haven’t visited sufc.org recently, please take a minute to check out the newly redesigned site. In addition to a refreshed look and streamlined navigation, we’ve made previous editions of Note from the Chairs and News to Share available.

In other online news, please like us on Facebook, join us on LinkedIn, and follow us at @WEARESUFC on Twitter.

Roots and Branches

Preserving a Washington, D.C. “Witness” Tree

The Washington Post details efforts by the National Park Service to save a recently fallen 55-foot mulberry on the grounds of the Washington Monument. It’s estimated that the tree dates back to the 1890s, meaning that it was around for more than a century of events on The National Mall, from the “I Have a Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential inaugurations, to countless kickball games, festivals and the 2011 earthquake.

Sincerely,

Mark Garvin and Jennifer Judd Hinrichs
SUFC Co-Chairs