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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 33, Issue 3 — May 2007

The Impact of Statewide Urban Forestry Programs: A Survey of Cities in Oregon, U.S.    (View PDF)

Paul D. Ries, A. Scott Reed, and Sarah J. Kresse

Abstract: All 50 U.S. states have a state urban forestry program that provides assistance to cities. Statewide surveys of city urban forestry leaders are a common tool for assessing urban forestry needs and accomplishments. Oregon has conducted two such comprehensive surveys, in 1992 and 2004. The 2004 survey was designed to gain insight into the scope and extent of the urban forest resource in Oregon to measure local program accomplishment since 1992 and to measure the impact of a statewide urban forestry assistance program. The survey had a return rate of 51%, and the results show differences among small, medium, and large communities. Results show that Oregon cities have made significant gains in urban forest management over the last 12 years. The data reveal insights of local urban foresters relative to tree-related issues and outcomes of local efforts. This research illustrates the impact a state urban forestry assistance program can have on local program accomplishment. Oregon cities that have received state assistance are more likely to have urban forestry program components such as tree ordinances and inventories, are more likely to be Tree City USA communities, and are more likely to be investing in urban forestry activities.

Keywords: Performance measurement; program assessment; program impact; small communities; urban and community forestry; urban forestry planning.

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