SAF and Urban Forests Coalition Share Principles for New Funding
October 27, 2022
The Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition (SUFC) recently sent a letter to USDA Forest Service leadership regarding new funding available to the Urban and Community Forestry program from the Inflation Reduction Act. Led by SAF, the letter was signed by 25 SUFC member organizations and outlined high-level principles for the agency to consider as it begins implementing the $1.5 billion allocated through 2031. Workforce and long-term capacity building were at the top of the concerns, but the letter also highlighted the need to collaborate with established partners as well as those with deep connections within communities.
"In order for our trees to be properly cared for, investments must be made in the workforce. Local organizations that are currently implementing tree planting and care work are in dire need of funding and staff to ramp up their efforts, we encourage you to consider these as eligible investments.
Investing in job training and certification programs will help people find work and continue to increase the return on investment for the trees in our communities. In addition to skilled labor opportunities, entry-level positions are also available to help bolster communities. As populations expand, the need for urban and community forests increases, as does the need for trained individuals to help develop and maintain healthy and resilient forests in communities of all sizes.
We should use this opportunity to cultivate the qualified workforce of the future by connecting with a younger generation so that they understand that green industry jobs lead to viable, long-term careers."
Click here to download and share the full letter.
Alliance for Community Trees
American Planning Association
Arbor Day Foundation
American Society of Consulting Arborists
Center for Invasive Species
City Forest Credits
Green Infrastructure Center
International Society of Arboriculture
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of Landscape Professionals
National Association of State Foresters
National Recreation and Park Association
Society of American Foresters
Society of Municipal Arborists
Student Conservation Association
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
The Davey Tree Expert Company
The Morton Arboretum
The Nature Conservancy
Trust for Public Land
Urban Wood Network
Utility Arborist Association
Wildlife Habitat Council