Research Project

Economic Impacts of Urban & Community Forestry in California

Your Input is Needed to Determine the Impacts of Urban & Community Forestry on California’s Economy

We Need Your Help!

California ReLeaf, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the USDA Forest Service are partnering with a national team of researchers to conduct a study on the economic impacts of Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) in California.

Help guide the economic future of Urban and Community Forestry in California by completing a confidential 15-20 minute survey.

We want to hear from businesses and organizations working with community trees, i.e. tree care and green industries, municipal tree managers, utility forestry managers, college campus arborists, and nonprofit and foundations. Your response is critical as we gather the information that will guide future efforts to support urban and community forest enterprises.

We invite the person in your organization most familiar with your operations to complete our brief voluntary survey. All responses to this survey are confidential, and no personally identifying information will be recorded. 

 

If you have questions about the survey, please contact: Dr. Rajan Parajuli and his team: urban_forestry@ncsu.edu | 919.513.2579.

Study Definition of Urban and Community Forestry

In this study, urban and community forestry is defined as all activities that support or care for the trees in cities, towns, suburbs, and other developed areas (including producing, planting, maintaining, and removing trees).
Take Our Survey Link

Who Should Take the Survey

We are seeking input from U&CF businesses and organizations associated with the (1) private sector, (2) county, municipal, or other local government, (3) state government, (4) investor-owned or cooperative utilities, (5) higher education institutions, and (6) non-profit organizations. 

    • Private Sector – Respond on behalf of a company that grows, plants, maintains, or manages trees in the urban forest. Examples include nurseries, landscape installation/maintenance contractors, tree care companies, utility vegetation management contractors, consulting arborists, companies providing urban forest management services.
    • County, Municipal or other Local Government – Respond on behalf of a division of local government that oversees management or regulation of urban forests on behalf of citizens. Examples include departments of parks and recreation, public works, planning, sustainability, forestry.
    • State Government – Respond on behalf of a state agency that performs technical, administrative, regulatory, or outreach services for urban and community forestry. Examples include forestry, natural resources, conservation, and cooperative extension.
    • Investor-Owned or Cooperative Utility – Respond on behalf of a company that operates utility infrastructure and manages trees along rights-of-way in urban and community settings. Examples include electric, natural gas, water, telecommunications.
    • Higher Education Institution – Respond on behalf of a college or university that directly employs personnel who plant, maintain, and manage trees on campuses in urban and community settings. Examples include campus arborist, urban forester, horticulturist, grounds manager.
    • Non-Profit Organization – Respond on behalf of a non-profit whose mission directly relates to urban and community forestry. Examples include tree planting, maintenance, conservation, consultation, outreach, education, advocacy.

Urban Corps of San Diego County

Top 5 Reasons to Take the Survey

1. The Economic Impacts Study will quantify U&CF’s value and monetary benefits to the state’s economy in revenue, jobs, and gross domestic product.

2. Current U&CF economic data is critical to policy and budget decisions at the local, regional, and state levels that impact private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

3. U&CF organizations will benefit from the data and reports that will be made available after the study is complete for the entire state and select large state regions, e.g. Los Angeles, Bay Area, San Diego, etc.

4. The Economic Impact Study report will help you communicate the economic value of U&CF organizations’ to policymakers and help you advocate on behalf of U&CF enterprises at the local, regional, and state level.

5. The Economic Impact study will detail how U&CF private businesses and public and nonprofit organizations contribute toward job creation, growth, and ongoing employment throughout California.

History and Overview of the Study

California’s last economic impact study on the Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) sector was conducted in 2010. The groundbreaking study in 2010 revealed U&CF sector generated $3.290 billion in revenues directly associated with U&CF, while overall, U&CF added $3.899 billion in value to the state’s economy. 

California ReLeaf and our partners at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and USDA Forest Service need your help in completing the 2022 Survey to help see how the economic impact has changed in the last decade after significant investments in U&CF through state programs, including tree planting and wood reutilization. 

As we work toward the goal of 10% increase in urban tree canopy cover as called for in state planning documents, a stronger picture of the economic impact will be critical to policy and budget discussions with local, regional, and state agencies. Your assistance in completing the 2022 survey will help our research team analyze the economic contributions of U&CF sub-sectors to the state’s economy.

Our 2022 research project team will use the Economic Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN model) to provide more targeted and up-to-date data in alignment with regions across the country to build a stronger, more consistent economic impact case for U&CF at the state and national levels. With your help, our research team will be able to collect data at the county level as well as the statewide level, which will allow analysis and reporting in several key regions such as Los Angeles, Bay Area, and San Diego.

After the study is complete, user-friendly detailed reports will be developed in addition to graphically appealing data sheets that will be available on California ReLeaf’s website as a resource to share and use for economic messaging.

Our Research Team

Dr. Rajan Parajuli, PhD

North Carolina State University

Rajana Parajuli, PhD is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC).

Dr. Stephanie Chizmar, PhD

North Carolina State University

Stephanie Chizmar, PhD is a Post doctoral Research Scholar within the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC).

Dr. Natalia Love, PhD

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo

Natalie Love, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Biological Sciences Department at CalPoly San Luis Obispo.

Dr. Eric Wiseman, PhD

Virginia Tech

Eric Wiseman, PhD is an Associate Professor of Urban and Community Forestry within the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA).

Brittany Christensen

Virginia Tech

Brittany Christensen is a Graduate Research Assistant within the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA).

Advisory Committee

The following organizations served on the advisory committee for the research study. They assisted the research team with developing the study and encourage your participation in the survey.
Plant California Alliance

100k Trees 4 Humanity

Utility Arborist Association

LA Conservation Corps

Santa Clara County Office of Sustainability

L.E. Cooke Company

California Landscape Contractors Association

Society of Municipal Arborists

UC Cooperative Extension

San Diego Gas & Electric and Utility Arborist Association

City of San Francisco

North East Trees, Inc.

CA Department of Water Resources

USDA Forest Service Region 5

Western Chapter ISA

California Landscape Contractors Association

City of Carmel-by-the-Sea

Cal Poly Pomona

Davey Resource Group

California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection CAL FIRE 

Sponsoring Partners

U.S. Foreste Service Department of Agriculture
Cal Fire
English Spanish