Washington, DC (June 29, 2006)- The Senate Subcommittee for Interior Appropriations met Tuesday to mark up their version of the Forest Service budget. Early word is that the Senate provided $27,596,000 for the Urban and Community Forestry Program Budget in FY2007. That is above the President’s request of $26.8 million, but below the FY2006 enacted budget of $28.9 million. The full Senate appropriations committee meeting is June 29th, so there may be minor changes or earmarks.
The remaining advocacy opportunity is to encourage the conference committee for the bill to move the U&CF budget closer to the House’s version of the bill, which was $29,513,000 for FY 2007.
For those of you with relationships to key Senate or House offices, a phone call or fax letter in support of $29,513,000 for the U&CF Program Budget in FY 2007 by June 30 would be timely. Additionally, if you have been in touch with a Congressman or Senator regarding this program recently, you may want to use this as an opportunity to touch base and again express your support for the program budget.
Thanks to those of you who have been taking an active role to inform your elected leaders about the value of the federal U&CF program to your state and locality. The U&CF program is delivered nationwide by state forestry agencies, and provides a key source of support to enable technical assistance, community cost share grants, and other support to protect and improve urban forests.
If you would like to take action and need more guidance, feel free to contact ACT.
To look up your Senator/Congressman:
Key House Members – the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
click on Subcommittees
click on Interior and Related Agencies
Key Senate Members – the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
Basic Talking Points
* I’m calling (or faxing) about the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program budget, which is part of the Interior Appropriations bill.
– I understand the Senate finalized its budget this week, and want to express my support for the House version of this budget, which would provide $29.5 million for this critical program in FY2007.
* We believe the real program need for this program is far greater ($50 million) to adequately serve the needs of Americans
* Thank you for your service and all you do for our community. We will keep your office appraised of urban forest issues in your state/district in the future.