American Forests Applauds Passage of HR3055 with Increased Funding for U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program
Washington, DC – American Forests’ President and CEO, Jad Daley, today released the following statement applauding the passage of HR3055, which funds the U.S. Forest Service and its critical support for vital tree canopy in towns and cities across America:
“In our towns and cities, where over 80% of Americans live, trees are critical for reducing air pollution, reducing summer heat and related home energy costs, sequestering carbon and avoiding pollution emissions. The value of these services is $18.3 billion annually. They also increase property values and retail sales. Unfortunately, low-income neighborhoods tend to have fewer trees, and their residents do not have access to these benefits.
“American Forests is committed to the equitable distribution of tree canopy across cities and towns, thus bringing these benefits to those who need it the most; we call this Tree Equity,” said Daley. “This is why we urged the House Appropriations Committee to significantly increase federal commitment to this issue.”
Through HR 3055, Congress increases the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program by 30%. This will ensure all Americans in our cities and towns enjoy the benefits of healthy trees and forests. “We are grateful to the leadership of Representative Betty McCollum, as Chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and Representative Dave Joyce, as Ranking Member, for their strong leadership on this critical issue.”
“The hard truth is that low-income neighborhoods have inadequate tree canopy in cities across America. That means the people who most need the proven health and wealth benefits of urban trees aren’t getting them. With increased funding for the Urban and Community Forestry Program, we can and will do better.”
HR 3055 increases funding for the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program by 30%. Through this program, the Forest Service provides critical technical and financial support to cities and towns across the nation to enhance tree and forest cover, prepare for storms and other disturbance events, contain threats from native and invasive pests, and maximize the economic, social, and ecological benefits of their tree resources. States and partner organizations leverage federal support through the program by at least 2:1 (or in many cases significantly more). Considered a model of federal-state collaboration, this program consistently increases the number of communities served, brings together diverse partners and resources, and has lasting impacts on communities of all sizes.
About American Forests
Founded in 1875, American Forests is the nation’s oldest conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s forests, but our work today is more critical than ever because forests are a natural climate solution. Since 1990 alone, we have planted over 60 million trees in forest restoration projects in all 50 U.S. states. We have also worked in dozens of cities across America, expanding tree canopy and making our communities more sustainable, beautiful and livable. Together, these projects recover hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, safeguard vital watersheds, absorb millions of tons of greenhouse gases and protect some of the most stunning landscapes in America.