California Urban Forests Council
State Public Policy Updates

Update: September 10, 2014

Funding Available:  

CalFire Urban and Community Forestry has released the Guidelines and the Request for Proposals for their Cap-and-Trade Grant Program.  

A Webinar is scheduled for September 24th and six workshops are anticipated, although not yet announced.  More information can be found at the link below.  Concept Proposals are due November 13, 2014


We will provide more information and updates as we receive new information.  

Policy Decisions Still Afoot:

Some important policy decisions related to the roll-out of the $17.8 million in cap-and-trade auction revenues allocated to the CalFire Urban Forestry Program are still under discussion at the Air Resources Board and CalEPA.

Recent information came out at the end of August that 100% of the Urban Forestry funds will be allocated to projects benefiting disadvantaged communities. This is an increase from past indications (55-80%) and makes policy decisions about how those communities are defined and what is considered "benefiting" a disadvantaged community very important.  

Comments on the Air Resource Board Guidance and CalEPA Options for Identifying Disadvantaged Communities are due September 15th (see below)

More Background Information:

• Summary of the CalFire Stakeholders Call (held late August)
• Air Resources Board Draft Guidance for Administering Cap-and-Trade Funding to Disadvantaged Communities 
• CalEPA Proposed Options for Identifying Disadvantaged Communities
• CalEnviroscreen 2.0 Tool for identifying Disadvantaged Communities

Update: June 23, 2014

Governor Signs State Budget for FY 2014/15

The Governor signed the State Budget for FY 2014/15 on Friday, making it official that over $17 million in cap-and-trade revenues will go the the CalFire Urban Forestry Program!  

For more general information about the State Budget visit the Governor's website and for specifics, visit the Enacted Budget Summary and Budget Detail.

Update: June 18, 2014

State Budget and Cap-and-Trade Revenues

The Legislature passed the FY 14/15 State Budget on Sunday, June 15, 2014, including $17 million for Urban Forestry at CalFire from Cap-and-Trade auction revenues.  We now await the Governor's signature, which is due by the end of June.  

  • The budget bill is available here.
  • The natural resources trailer bill is available here.
Water Bond

SB 848 (Wolk) has been amended to include eligibility for urban forestry projects in a pot of funding designated for urban watersheds.   

AB 1331 (Rendon) has also been amended and urban forestry project eligibility remains intact in the current version of the legislation.

Parks Bond

SB 1086 (de Leon) is still slated for a vote on the Senate Floor; and while much of the detail is still under development, urban forestry, urban greening, river parkways, parks, etc. are well represented in the current outline.    

Great News for Urban Forestry in California!  June 12, 2014

Many years of hard work and investment with all of our partners and friends has paid off!  
Late today, the State Budget Conference Committee approved an agreement reached between the Legislature and the Governor for the expenditure of cap and trade revenue for Fiscal Year 2014-15 as well as an expenditure plan for future years, starting in Fiscal Year 2015-16. 
For FY 2014-15, the agreement proposes $17 million to CalFire for Urban Forestry.  Future years will appropriate 40% of cap and trade revenues to natural resources, low carbon transportation, energy efficiency and other programs through the budget process or legislation.
This is a tremendous win for the Urban Forestry Community!  
Both Houses will vote on the Budget by June 15th and then it will go to the Governor for signature.  
Stay tuned for more details as they unfold!    

Call to Action and Update: June 6, 2014

We need calls to be made TODAY to State Senators and Assemblymembers to show your support for $18 million proposed to CalFire for Urban Forestry from the cap and trade revenues.  
Are you in Oakland, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach, or Roseville/Chico?  If so, we need YOU to reach out to your State Senators and Assemblymembers today! 
Please review our Call to Action and State Public Policy Update for more details and how you can help! 
Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting opportunities for urban forestry in California.  

Update and Call to Action: February 20, 2014

CaUFC has been following a number of items in the California Legislative and Administrative arena this year.  We continue to work with Conservation Strategy Group, our partners, and decision makers on supporting urban forestry in Sacramento.  

Highlights of our Update include:

  • The Governor’s Proposed Budget includes $50 million to CalFire, of which 30% (approx. $15 million) is for Urban Forestry from cap and trade auction revenue – Please see our Full State Public Policy Update (link below) for more details and how you can help us bring this BIG WIN home! 
  • Water Bond Legislation - there are two leading efforts, one in each House, and CaUFC is engaged in both efforts.
Click here to see our full update and what you can do to help

Update: January 29, 2014
AB 32 Implementation: Cap and Trade Auction Revenue
The latest information regarding the Governor’s proposed budget for CalFire was shared with a group of interested parties last week.  The total $50 million of cap and trade auction revenue proposed to go to CalFire includes $15 million to the Urban and Community Forestry Program.  We will continue to work with our partners on supporting this allocation in the budget process with the Legislature and the Administration, as well as providing input on how the program can be implemented.  Stay tuned for how you can help!   
Water Bond
Senator Wolk has moved her water bond legislation to a new bill, SB 848; however the language remains as it was in SB 42 from last year. We are working to get similar language in this bill that has been amended into the Assembly version of the water bond AB 1331 (Rendon). Please see the January 9th update below for more information. Hearings for SB 848 (Wolk) are currently set for February 11th and 19th in Senate policy committees. AB 1331 (Rendon) has not yet been set for hearing(s); however it is currently in the Senate. We are currently working on letters for each of these bills with our partners. Stay tuned for how you can help!
Environmental Enhancement Mitigation Program (EEMP)
The Governor’s proposed budget also includes $17 million in funding for the EEMP program, this being its first year officially administered by the Natural Resources Agency (formally at the Department of Transportation) and distinguished from the new Alternative Transportation Program now at Caltrans.  CaUFC will work with our partners to support this allocation in the budget process. 

Update: January 9, 2014

The California Legislature is back in session for this second year of a two-year session and there are many exciting issues at play.

CaUFC continues to work with Conservation Strategy Group, our partners, and decision makers on supporting urban forestry in Sacramento. Our 2014 public policy efforts include:

AB 32 Implementation (CA Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006)

  • Cap and Trade Revenue - CaUFC is continuing our work that has been building over the 3-4 years with the Legislature and the Administration on making early and long-term investments in urban forests for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, focusing on disadvantaged communitiesand maximizing co-benefits of investments. The Governor’s Proposed Budget includes $50 million to CalFire for Urban Forestry and fire prevention.

More details will be revealed in time about specifically how much funding is going to Urban Forestry and how the program will be developed.

A history of the cap and trade revenue program can be found on the Air Resources Board’ website.

  • Urban Forest Protocols Update – Not to be confused with the cap and trade auction revenue allocation efforts (above), CaUFC is working on a committee to update the Urban Forestry Offset Protocols for more applicability and relevance to the potential for urban forests as offsets to capped sectors. More information can be found here.
  • Scoping Plan Update – CaUFC submitted letters to Air Resources Board as part of the process in updating the State’s Scoping Plan for meeting the goals of AB 32. This is the overarching long-term plan for how the State plans to meet the regulatory requirements laid out in Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). CaUFC has continued to advocate for the role of urban forests in meeting AB 32’s 2020 and 2050 goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2014 Water Bond

Two pieces of legislation are currently being negotiated in the Legislature to revise the Water Bond passed in 2009 and currently slated for the November 2014 ballot.

  • AB 1331 (Rendon) was amended on 1/6/14 and now includes promoting urban forestry pursuant to the Urban Forestry Act, among many other eligible activities, as an eligible expenditure under from the $1.5 Billion allocated under Chapter 6: Protecting Rivers, Lakes, Streams, Coastal Waters, and Watersheds.
  • SB 42 (Wolk) has not yet been amended this year, but the current version (9/11/13) does include funding for river parkways, urban streams, watershed restoration, multiple -benefit projects, and stormwater management through natural systems.

Parks Bond

Senator de Leon introduced a “spot bill” (i.e. placeholder) SB 783 last year for a Parks Bond. We expect the Senator to continue working on the content of this bill over the course of the legislative session and may offer it as an alternative to the water bond, should negotiatios or public interest dwindle.

We will continue to work on these important opportunities with our partners – Local Government Commission, California Urban Streams Partnership, California Native Plant Society, Trust for Public Land, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Planning Association, California ReLeaf, and more.

Please keep checking back for more information and how you can help us secure these great opportunities for urban forestry in California!