Washington, DC (September 29, 2006)- The Senate approved the FY 07 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill (HR 5631), including a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running until the respective appropriations bills are passed. Only Defense and Homeland Security spending bills have been enacted. The continuing resolution sets funding at the lowest of the House-passed, Senate-passed or fiscal 2006 levels. Included in the bill is $200 million in emergency wildfire suppression funding that will help repay borrowed funds within the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior. To date, over 9 million acres have burned and spending to suppress these fires has exceeded $1.265 billion, exhausting both regular appropriation of $760 million and $500 million in emergency funds carried over from last year. Interior has spent $365 million.
The 2007 Interior and Related Agencies budget is not expected to be passed until later this fall as part of omnibus legislation. This means that there is still time available to educate lawmakers about the FY 2007 appropriations for the Urban and Community Forestry program. While lawmakers are pre-occupied with election campaigns right now, you can try to use their time in their home districts to ask for a meeting to brief them on pressing natural resource issues, including tree canopy recovery in their communities.
As you talk to legislators, you may want to share with them the House FY 2007 Interior Appropriations Budget as a guide to what you think is reasonable this year for Urban and Community Forestry.
For additional information visit Thomas.
Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition agenda and supporters in favor of urban forestry.
This information was compiled with thanks to the Society for American Foresters.