Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008

U&CF Budget is $27.7 million
Washington, DC (December 16, 2007)- Congress announced details of an end of year combined appropriations act for FY 2008 to fund all federal agencies that have been operating under continuing resolutions since the fall. Many programs did not receive as much funding as was initially budgeted by the House and Senate during the summer. However, if approved, the omnibus would provide more funding to environmental programs than the President’s 2008 budget would have provided.

* The President’s budget would have cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by $130 million. The omnibus rejected that cut, and provided $262 above the President’s budget for EPA, which is $264 below the FY 2007 budget.
* The President’s budget would have cut Community Development Block Grants by $822 million. The omnibus rejected those cuts, and awarded $556 million above the President’s budget for CDBG.
* The omnibus provided $2.5 billion to the US Forest Service, which is $8 million below the FY 2007 budget and is $246 million above the President’s request for FY 2008.
The Urban and Community Forestry Program within the US Forest Service budget is expected to receive $28,130,000 including $1.25 million in earmarks, but is subject to a slight reduction of 1.56%. This is $10 million more than the President’s budget request. Report language states:
Urban and Community Forestry:
The amended bill includes $28,130,000 for the Urban and Community Forestry program instead of $31,130,000 as proposed by the House and $30,846,000 as proposed by the Senate. Project funding includes: $200,000 for urban forestry cooperative activities in El Segundo, CA; $500,000 for the Seattle-Tacoma regional urban forestry effort; $350,000 for Chicago urban tree planting; and $200,000 for Indianapolis tree planting.
An amendment to the bill resulted in a 1.56% rescission to the program, which would result in a final budget of $27,691,000 for the FY 2008 Urban and Community Forestry Program.
While the proposed 2008 budget is $2 million less than the enacted 2007 budget for U&CF, the result would have been far worse had it not been for Congressional advocacy. Next spring, urban forestry advocates should prepare that the President’s 2009 budget could be even lower than in 2008. Congressional advocacy will be the key to keeping valuable State and Private programs like U&CF in place.
Related Resources:
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008
August 2007 Federal Update on UCF Legislation