1. Urban Forestry Victories in the FY 2019 – 20 State Budget

    California ReLeaf and its long list of policy partners emerged from the 2019 budget debate with a few wins for the urban forestry community, along with several lessons learned that will help inform our efforts moving forward. Please take a few minutes to celebrate these hard-won victories. The FY 2019-20 State Budget signed by Governor Newsom contains nearly $50 million for urban forestry and urban greening, and another $100 million for flood control and environmental mitigation that includes urban forestry as eligible project components. CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is planting more than 100,000 trees across California with...
  2. Don’t You Forget About Me

    By Chuck Mills, Director, Public Policy & GrantsI know what you’re thinking. How appropriate it is that Chuck obliquely references Simple Minds in his blog’s title. Shouldn’t all of his musings have some dim connotation? Perhaps. But let’s see if you re-think that position after I clarify what I’m really referencing from the onset of this piece. Remember way back in March 2015 when California ReLeaf awarded the last of its sub-grant funds for small Arbor Week projects, and a handful of social equity tree-planting grants? Those 15 projects represented the last of what California ReLeaf held in the sub-grants...
  3. Another Big Budget Year for Trees!

    by Chuck Mills I recently learned while watching television – the definitive device for expanding one’s education – that three well-respected dictionaries included alternate definitions of the word literally in 2013 that essentially amount to “being taken figuratively.” This is my reason #827 for not having kids: they will speak jibberish if adhering to the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster. But I digress. I raise this point to emphasize that when I say California’s urban forest stakeholders literally had no state funding two years ago, I’m going old school on y’all. Not very long ago, CAL FIRE’s Urban and...
  4. What a Difference a Year Makes!

    By Jim Clark Welcome 2015! On New Year’s Eve, I took a break from my near constant holiday partying to reflect on California ReLeaf’s year. We started 2014 with the resignation of Joe Liszewski, our executive director. And we knew that long-time manager of budgets and finance, Kathleen Farren, would be leaving in July. That’s 50% staff turnover! We were fortunate to have Amelia Oliver step-up and in as interim Executive Director while we searched for a new one. And of course, the search took longer than we planned. But the result was awesome and Cindy Blain joined California ReLeaf...
  5. Webinar Resources: Tools for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Trees

    October 20, 2014 Presented by Kelaine Ravdin, Urban Ecos Sponsored by: Urban Ecos, CAUFC, California ReLeaf, and CAL FIRE   The new round of CAL FIRE urban forestry grants requires applicants to estimate the greenhouse gas effects of the proposed projects. Currently, the policy in this field has outpaced the development of tools to do exactly the kinds of calculations that are needed. In the meantime, a few tools do exist that can be tweaked to get the results we need. This webinar offered a tutorial to help you get started with the most important part–calculating the benefits of newly...
  6. The Green Rush

    by Chuck Mills   A California ReLeaf board member recently commented that urban forestry is now experiencing a “Green Rush” of funding stemming from recent State Budget appropriations. It’s a poignant observation that should motivate all of us to seize this moment. Like California’s seven-year gold rush, this unprecedented stream of new dollars will not last forever. In an effort to help Network members and community groups mine the state’s urban forestry-related funds, California ReLeaf has a new web page that provides one-stop shopping for the most pertinent California public grants programs that currently exist or are in development for...
  7. Setting the Stage for 2015

    by Chuck Mills   Now that CAL FIRE has received over $17 million in cap-and-trade auction proceeds to support the Urban and Community Forestry, we must all take to celebrate… for about four months.   This single victory represents a huge win for all of us, but the next battle at the State Capitol could be for the jackpot – an all-in opportunity to secure long-term funding for urban forestry.   Supplemental state budget language (commonly referred to as a trailer bill) that will be signed By Governor Brown in the coming days sets up a long-term funding strategy that...
  8. Urban Forestry Makes History

    By Chuck Mills   On June 15, 2014, the Legislature passed a state budget bill that includes $17.8 million for CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Program.  Governor Brown is expected to sign this deal.   To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest single-state annual appropriation for urban forestry in US History.   More details will follow, but this much is certain: $15.7 million for projects and grants through the U&CF Program, with $2.1 million to support staffing and administration. Per the statutory requirements of Senate Bill 535, the majority of these funds will benefit disadvantaged...
  9. CAL FIRE Seeking CUFAC Nominations

    CAL FIRE is seeking nominations for members of the California Urban Forestry Advisory Committee (CUFAC). CUFAC is the CAL FIRE Director’s advisory committee on urban forestry matters. It is composed of 17 individuals. Nine positions are open for nominations. Please see the drop down list in the application form for what positions are available.   If you have any questions about qualifications, or duties of the positions, please review the CUFAC Charter document, and then contact the Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager, John Melvin, at john.melvin@fire.ca.gov. The deadline is June 15.