Urban Forestry Strategic & Management Plans

Madison, WI (December 1, 2007)- The Wisconsin DNR- Bureau of Forestry has released a new publication: A Technical Guide to Developing Urban Forestry Strategic Plans & Urban Forest Management Plans. Planning is key to effective management of any program. Good plans make the difference between cost-effective, proactive management and costly crisis management. Plans establish focus and direction. They provide the framework for program implementation and a basis for consistent decision making. They are tools for determining budgets and other support needs.

What is Urban Forestry Planning
Urban forestry planning occurs on several levels. At the broadest level, strategic plans establish the overall goals and objectives of the organization’s urban forestry efforts. Ideally, strategic planning is one of the first tasks undertaken in the establishment of a community forestry program. Also called long-range, comprehensive or master plans, strategic plans create a blueprint for administration and management of a community tree program. Strategic plans include input from local citizens, organizations, businesses, municipal staff and elected officials. They are integrated with other comprehensive community plans.
Urban forest management plans are specific to the field operations of the community tree program. Typically based on a detailed tree inventory, management plans identify and prioritize site-specific tree planting, maintenance and removal activities within a multi-year time frame.
Urban forestry planning also takes on a variety of other forms. Land use plans, greenway plans, site development plans, public landscape design and maintenance plans and similar planning efforts require input from those involved with public tree care.
About the Guide
The wide spectrum of community tree issues and planning considerations can make the task of developing an urban forestry strategic or management plan appear formidable, particularly to organizations lacking trained staff. This guide offers a “how to” approach to urban forestry planning, utilizing the four step process shown above. By following stepby-step through the guide, any organization can develop a thorough, functional urban forestry plan, regardless of community size or technical resources.
The guide includes checklists, budgeting tables, and helpful hints.The examples contained in this guide are given merely to stimulate ideas and illustrate concepts. Because each community is unique, plans will differ from one community to another. Not all plans will need to address every point discussed. Some communities may wish to include information beyond that presented in the guide. There is no prescribed order, length, format or style for a plan. Organizations are encouraged to develop clear, action oriented plans that best suit their unique needs and circumstances. Above all, a plan must be useful or it won’t get used! For further planning assistance, contact the DNR urban forestry coordinator serving your region.
Related Resources:
A Technical Guide to Developing Urban Forestry Strategic Plans & Urban Forest Management Plans
Wisconsin DNR- Bureau of Forestry