74 Hauer and Johnson: Meeting Federal Requirements for U&CF Assistance Programs Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 2008. 34(2):74–83. Approaches Within the 50 United States to Meeting Federal Requirements for Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Programs Richard J. Hauer and Gary R. Johnson Abstract. Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) program capacity within the 50 United States was derived through four indicator areas that included the state U&CF program coordinator, volunteer coordination, state U&CF council, and strategic plan. The agency and administrative unit where the program resides, year of program initiation, staffing levels and expertise area, additional non-U&CF responsibilities of staff, and coordination of U&CF within a state were further studied. Each state had an U&CF program coordinator (most were full-time), practiced varying volunteer coordination approaches, had a state U&CF council, and had a regularly updated strategic plan. Most states had additional regional U&CF staff with the majority of their time devoted to U&CF activities with a mean 4.2 (median, 3.2) full-time equivalents of total U&CF staff in a state. Occasionally, non-U&CF duties were conducted by U&CF staff with fire control, forest stewardship, special projects, and forest health most commonly given as other areas conducted by U&CF staff. Most state U&CF programs used a variety of approaches to support volunteer-based U&CF efforts in a state. All states now have a U&CF coordinator with 95% of their duties associated with U&CF activities. State U&CF councils vary in their membership and approaches for coordination of U&CF within a state. Key Words. State Urban and Community Forestry programs; urban and community forestry; urban forestry; urban forestry program capacity. State Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) programs were created with an important goal to increase local urban forestry activities and improve the urban forest at local levels (Casey and Miller 1988; USDA-FS 2002; USDA-FS U&CF 2004). The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) is the lead federal agency for the national U&CF assistance program in the United States and supports state U&CF programs through finan- cial and technical assistance (USDA-FS 2002). The need for federal and state U&CF programs and collaboration arose from the belief that the general health and structure of some urban forests were declining and urban tree populations are important because they improve quality of life and enhance the value of urban landscapes (Biles and Deneke 1982). A goal to encourage tree planting and develop an ability or capacity within states and local government to undertake U&CF programs and manage- ment of urban tree populations was developed to reverse that trend (USDA-FS 2002). Thus, state and federal U&CF programs use their existing capacity to increase the ability or capacity to develop and expand local urban forestry programs and activities and, ideally, a sustainable local urban forest results (Clark et al. 1997; USDA-FS 2002; Dwyer et al. 2003; Elmendorf et al. 2003; Hauer 2006; Hauer and Johnson 2008; Hauer et al. 2008). The Federal Farm Bill of 1990 (P.L. 101–513) substantially in- creased the federal role and U&CF funding for the Forest Service (Unsoeld 1978; Biles and Deneke 1982; Deneke 1983, 1992). Funding to state U&CF programs also increased greatly (Hauer and Johnson 2008). As a condition to receive funding, each state had to meet and maintain the following four requirements: 1) Have an urban and community forestry program coordinator; 2) Implement volunteer/partnership coordination; 3) Create an urban and community forestry council; and 4) Develop a state program strategic plan (5-year plan). ©2008 International Society of Arboriculture These four areas are believed to be important key components that state U&CF programs need as a basis for an effective U&CF program. The USFS national and regional offices provide U&CF program leadership through coordination and oversight of state programs with meeting the four key federal funding require- ments. Program delivery occurs primarily at the state level through cooperation with state foresters and key partners. In some cases, involvement and granting goes directly to the local level through legislative earmarks. The state U&CF coordinator provides leadership for the state program. Volunteer coordination is used to leverage support and obtain local citizen involvement. State and local partnerships contribute to a statewide linkage of diverse groups and programs (Hortscience & Aslan Group 2004). The state U&CF council furthers and plausibly serves as a mechanism to coordinate di- verse groups and interests. State U&CF councils also advise the state forester on program direction and priorities. Other external partners, particularly community-based organizations and local governments, play an important role in expanding the public/ private partnerships that promote understanding and manage- ment of urban and community forests and related natural re- sources. Finally, a state U&CF program strategic plan provides direction to accomplish programmatic goals and objectives. Up- dating is required at least once every 5 years. This article ad- dresses state approaches taken with meeting the four federal requirements of state U&CF programs. The intent of this article is to describe these state approaches. METHODS This investigation used data supplied by state U&CF program coordinators in the 50 United States through a self-administered questionnaire for program year 2002. Questions were structured
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