Urban Community Forests in Reconciliation Support Letter

September 29, 2021

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader
US Senate
The Capitol, Room S-221
Washington, DC, 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
US House of Representatives
The Capitol, Room H-232
Washington, DC, 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
US Senate
The Capitol Room S-230
Washington, DC, 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
US House of Representatives
The Capitol, Room H-204
Washington, DC, 20510

Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader McCarthy:

From combating climate change and creating more equitable communities to improving infrastructure and expanding green jobs, our nation’s current and expanding 138 million acres of urban and community forests and trees are an essential piece of the equation. Furthermore, with climate impacts from extreme heat and air pollution rising, cities and towns are urgently setting new goals for expansion of tree cover to protect our most vulnerable populations. The bold investments proposed in the reconciliation bills—particularly from the House Agriculture Committee—represent unprecedented recognition and support for the multitude of scientifically proven social, economic, and environmental benefits provided by forests and trees across communities of all sizes.

The House Agriculture Committee’s $40 billion forestry package includes support for shared priorities across the diverse spectrum of urban and community forestry stakeholders, including significant investments in USDA Forest Service programs like:

• Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF)
• Community Forests and Open Space Conservation (CFP)
• Forest and Rangeland Research, including Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA)
• Forest Health Monitoring
• Forest Legacy
• Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) (new)

It is critical that the $40 billion slated for forest restoration and wildfire resilience in the reconciliation package is maintained. This critical funding will allow our organizations to leverage the funding and resources we need to partner with state agencies, local communities, and non-governmental organizations to help create thousands of jobs, restore millions of acres of forest, reduce wildfire risk, rebuild vital infrastructure critical to economic recovery, and deliver assistance to urban areas benefiting diverse and often underserved communities.

Increasing the federal contribution of matching criteria for these funds would enhance the ability of U&CF and CCC to provide technical, financial, educational, and research services to communities so they can plant, protect, and maintain community trees and forests, and utilize wood from these trees, to maximize environmental, social, and economic benefits.

The groups signed below, many of which are members of the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, represent the multi-billion-dollar tree-care industry, state forestry professionals, a wide variety of professional associations including arborists, city planners and public works professionals, and forest, conservation, and water non-profit organizations that understand the value and return on investment of planting and maintaining trees where people live.


National Organizations

American Forests
American Society of Consulting Arborists
American Society of Landscape Architects
Alliance for Community Trees
Arbor Day Foundation
City Parks Alliance
Green Infrastructure Center Inc.
International Society of Arboriculture
National Association of Landscape Professionals
National Association of State Foresters
National Recreation and Park Association
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Society of American Foresters
Society of Municipal Arborists
The Davey Tree Expert Company
The Keystone Concept
The Nature Conservancy
Professional Grounds Management Society
Student Conservation Association
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Tree Care Industry Association
Urban Wood Network
Water Environment Federation

State/Regional and Local Affiliates

Alliance for Cape Fear Trees
Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley
Amigos De Los Rios
Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts
Asheville GreenWorks
Audubon Mid-Atlantic
Baltimore Tree TrustBartram’s Garden
Bay Area Urban Forests Ecosystem Council
Better Nature Solutions
Bridging The Gap, Inc.
Cacapon Institute
California ReLeaf
Casey Trees
Center for Chesapeake Communities
Central Coast Urban Forests Council
Chicago Region Trees Initiative
Circular Philadelphia
City of Norfolk Forestry Operations
Clean Air Council
East Falls Tree Tenders
Edith Family Farms
Fairmount Park Conservancy
Forest ReLeaf of Missouri
Friends of Manatawna Farm
Friends of Norfolk’s Environment
Friends of Poquessing Watershed
Friends of the Urban Forest
Green Columbus
Holden Forests & Gardens
Huntington Beach Tree Society, Inc.
Inland Urban Forests Council
Los Angeles/Orange County Urban Forests Council
Maplewood Neighbors
Montana Urban and Community Forestry Association
New Jersey Tree Foundation
Norfolk Tree Commission
North Carolina Urban Forest Council
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
People’s Emergency Center
Philadelphia Orchard Project
Philadelphia Parks Alliance
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
ReLeaf Michigan, Inc.
Sacramento Tree Foundation
Sacramento Urban Forests Council
San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council
San Joaquin Valley Urban Forests Council
Savannah Tree Foundation
South of South Neighborhood Association
The Climate Reality Project: Philadelphia and Southeastern PA Chapter
The Lands Council
The Philadelphian Green Task Force
The Woodlands CemeteryTree Pittsburgh
Trees Atlanta
Trees Durham
Trees Forever
Trees for Honolulu’s Future
Trees Indiana
Trees Knoxville
Trees Matter
Tucson Clean & Beautiful/Trees for Tucson
UC Green Inc.
Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program
Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Woodstock Tree Board
Your Children’s Trees