State Advocacy for Trees

February 18, 2010
1:00 – 2:00pm EST
National Webcast
The act of telling elected officials how to write and change our laws is at the very heart of our democratic system. While news headlines about “special interests” may depict a negative view of lobbying, organized advocacy by groups of people is the origin for many public policies and shapes the way public resources are directed. Protecting and promoting urban forests is an issue of authentic public concern that deserves to be well represented. As an urban forestry expert, you are naturally positioned to be an effective and persuasive advocate for trees and urban forests.

Downloadable Resources:
State Advocacy for Trees Resource List
Sarah Foster, State Urban Forestry Coordinator, Washington DNR (Olympia, WA)
In 2008 Washington State initiated the Evergreen Sustainable Development Criteria to promote public health, energy conservation, operational savings, and sustainable building practices in affordable housing design. The Act also provided for the formation of an advisory panel to develop model ordinances and urban forestry management plans for the state.

Gary Allen, Chair, Partnership for Sustainable Forestry (Annapolis, MD)
Study after study has documented the importance of sustainable forestry to the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort and the economic underpinning of rural Maryland. But, few understand the attendant environmental and economic benefits of this resource-based industry. Now in Maryland, the Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 helps to prevent further forest land conversion, estimated at 100 acres per day within the Bay watershed, by promoting forest land retention through incentives and favorable public policies in ways deemed consistent with the 2010 Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and the 2007 Forest Conservation Initiative. Its provisions include: Local Planning and Zoning, Removes Funding Cap on the Woodland Incentives Fund, Funding for Forestry Activities Expanded, Program Open Space and Rural Legacy Programs, Financial Incentives, and Nuisance Suit Protection against Forestry Operations.
Webcast attendees will learn about:
* Creating criteria for sustainable development.
* Building wide-ranging, cross-sector alliances for state initiatives.
* Working with state legislators to write and pass legislation.
* Developing forestry management plans for statewide use.
* Extending land-use plans to private landowners.
About the Webcast Series
The Webcast Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ bimonthly webcast series held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.