October 2019 Note from the Chairs

Autumn is here, and with it comes major updates for SUFC, our members, and the efforts to combat climate change! Over the past month, we’ve seen a big increase in climate news coverage, coinciding with the UN Climate Action Summit in New York. The @WeareSUFC Twitter feed was very active sharing stories from both members and non-members about the important role trees have in carbon capture.

And we’re eagerly planning for the Partners Conference in Cleveland on November 19-21. SUFC will host the Welcome Reception, a breakfast, and a listening session. We are hosting the last session – SUFC Policy/Legislative Update, which ends at 6pm on Thursday, November 21. We hope to see many of you there!

Member Update

SUFC member Green Infrastructure Center has released a book on green infrastructure mapping and planning for large landscapes. In 2017, they completed their work using their habitat model to map all of the United States; the model is available online. The book, Green Infrastructure: Map and Plan the Natural World with GIS, explains how to find and plan for conservation and restoration of important habitats across the U.S. and beyond. It provides a history of conservation restoration in the U.S. and internationally, as well as tips and tools for what to evaluate and how to determine conservation priorities.

Policy Update

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Udall (D-CO), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have introduced the Climate Stewardship Act of 2019 (S. 2452). The legislation recognizes the critical role trees play in the climate change solution via their sequestering of carbon, absorption of harmful air pollutants, and reduction of temperatures. 

The bill requires planting more than 4 billion trees by 2030, and 15 billion trees by 2050, on a combination of federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental lands. Of the trees planted, over 100 million will be in urban neighborhoods most in need of tree canopy cover, with the priority for low-income areas and communities of color.

Roots and Branches

On September 18, CNN published an article and video on the US Forest Service’s 2018 study finding that the U.S. loses 36 million trees annually. The Arbor Day Foundation, one of SUFC’s members, was interviewed by CNN for the piece, which discussed ways to solve the declining tree canopy challenge.


Mark Garvin and Jennifer Judd Hinrichs
SUFC National Co-Chairs