Magazine article American Forests

Urban Forests and the Farm Bill

Magazine article American Forests

Urban Forests and the Farm Bill

Article excerpt

AMERICAN FORESTS IS PLEASED to be a member of The Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition--a diverse group of community nonprofits, national associations, arborists, foresters and other professionals who work together to monitor, care and advocate for urban trees and green infrastructure--on efforts to strengthen urban forestry through the 2012 Farm Bill.

Major legislative provisions governing urban forestry were initially passed in the 1990 Farm Bill as part of the first-ever Forestry Title. These provisions--Section 9 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act--have not been significantly changed for more than 20 years. Policy debate over the Farm Bill, which occurs about every five years, is a key opportunity to update these provisions.

Urban areas have been growing rapidly, becoming home to an ever-greater portion of our nation's population. Policymakers have become increasingly aware that urban forests are critical to the health and livability of our cities. New proposals in Congress have recognized the value and importance of urban. forests and green infrastructure for a variety ofbenefits, including reduced energy use, improved water and air quality, diversified wildlife habitat and increased human health. In addition, research has recognized that urban forests promote green industries, which have an estimated annual economic impact of $147.8 billion, providing tens of thousands of new jobs as arborists, urban foresters, landscape designers and more.

Given this growing interest in urban forests, it is important that policymakers recognize the unique and essential role of the USDA Forest Service among federal agencies. A8 stated in a Farm Bill paper by the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, "With its unparalleled research capacity and its strong network of public and private partnerships, the Forest Service can play an even more significant role to help focus and promote efficient federal investment in creating and maintaining healthy urban forests and green infrastructure." For example, with support and expertise from state forestry agencies and local and national non-governmental organizations, the Forest Service's Urban and Community Forestry Program in 2010 delivered technical, financial, educational and research assistance to more than 7,000 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and affiliated Pacific Island nations, reaching a total of 177 million people. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.