Note from the Chairs – Winter 2023

Coalition Updates

SUFC Welcomes New Vice Chair

We are excited to announce that Keith Wood now serves as the new Vice Chair of the Coalition. Keith has participated on the SUFC Steering Committee for many years, and he is excited to step into his new role during this pivotal time in U&CF history with extraordinary funding, which presents an unprecedented opportunity to make a lasting impact on our communities’ well-being and economic stability. Keith is affiliated with the National Association of State Foresters (NASF); previously, he worked with the Colorado State Forest Service U&CF program and served as the Executive Administrator of the Colorado Tree Coalition and developed and taught a course on Urban and Community Forestry at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Keith will assume the Chair position when Rachel’s term ends in 2024. 

Research Working Group Funding Rationale

The Coalition’s Research Working Group (RWG), led by Ian Leahy (American Forests) and Scott Maco (Davey Institute), has released a research funding rationale advocating for additional investments in research that will measure the impacts of current urban and community forest investments. The RWG identified human health, climate and resilience, and environmental justice as areas that could benefit from enhanced funding sources for research. Such investments in research are crucial to enhancing the effectiveness of various initiatives, resulting in substantial health improvements and societal benefits. To read the entire report, click HERE.

SUFC Hosts Events at WFUF

The 2nd World Forum on Urban Forests (WFUF) held in Washington, DC, in October, is a testament to the growing recognition of and commitment to trees and forests in our urban landscapes; bravo to our friends at the Arbor Day Foundation for a successful meeting. We enjoyed meeting friends from all over the world.

During the Forum, SUFC held a panel discussion with federal agency representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOT), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to spark further collaborations and unite local authorities with national resources. To learn more about these agencies’ available tools, see HERE.

Following the panel discussion, the SUFC encouraged the conversation to continue, inviting WFUF attendees and members of Congress to a reception at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. We greatly appreciate your attendance and extend a special thank you to the VIPs, including Beattra Wilson of the USDA Forest Service, Nausheen Iqbaal with the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), House Education and Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI), and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). See photos HERE.

Policy Working Group

Are you interested in public policy and the latest tree-related legislative and regulatory actions? Join the monthly SUFC Policy Zoom calls! Reach out via email to [email protected] to be added to the list. 

Join Us at the 19th Annual SUFC Meeting & Call for Collaboration

Save the date! The SUFC Annual Meeting will be on February 28, 2024, in Arlington, Virginia. Registration will open in the new year.

The SUFC Strategic Engagement and Networking (SEN) Working Group is excited to open the Call for Collaboration for the 19th Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. We invite collaborators to share their projects to be considered for an opportunity to speak at the Annual Meeting. The deadline to submit your projects will be December 29, 2023. For more information on the themes of this year’s meeting and the submission form, see here.

Thank you for your work in supporting our urban forests! We wish all of you a joyous and restorative holiday season!

Rachel Holmes, SUFC Chair

Keith Wood, SUFC Vice Chair