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. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. Silence Isn’t Golden

    Over the next month, community groups and ReLeaf Network members across California have an opportunity to comment on two important issues. They are the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWM); and the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Urban Forest Project Protocols. To date, these efforts have been fairly non-profitable for urban forestry groups working daily to green our golden state, but with guidance from stakeholders they could prove to be beneficial.   In March, 2014, Governor Brown and the Legislature directed DWR to expedite the solicitation and award of $200 million in IRWM funding to...
  7. Governor’s Budget Directs Millions for Local Projects

    Just over a year ago, California ReLeaf staked 100% of its public policy agenda on the idea that cap and trade auction revenues were the very best opportunity to breathe new life into CAL FIRE’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which allocated its last remaining project bond funds in March 2013.  In other words, we went “all-in” on cap and trade.   Today, Governor Brown released a proposed 2014-15 State Budget that directs $50 million in auction revenues to CAL FIRE with a significant portion directed to support urban forestry projects that help meet the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse...
  8. State’s Right to Sell Carbon Permits Upheld

    By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California’s environmental regulator can sell carbon emission permits at quarterly auctions as part of the state’s cap-and-trade program, a state court said on Thursday, in a setback to businesses that argued that the sales constitute an illegal tax.   The California Chamber of Commerce and tomato processor Morning Star sued to stop the sales last year, arguing that the permits should be given out freely to companies covered by the program.   They said the California Air Resources Board (ARB) overstepped its authority when it approved auctions as a mechanism for distributing permits....
  9. Change is Coming to Two California Communities

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some very dedicated people in two of California’s largest cities – San Diego and Stockton. It’s been amazing to see both what needs to be accomplished in these cities and how hard these individuals are working to make sure the work in done.   In Stockton, volunteers are facing an up-hill battle. Last year, the city declared bankruptcy. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Trees are the least of this community’s worries. Yet, there is a group of citizens there who know that...