Advancement in State Government Involvement in
Urban and Community Forestry in the 50 United States: Changes in Program Status From 1986 to 2002
Richard J. Hauer, Cynthia J. Casey, and Robert W. Miller
Abstract: This study investigated changes in state urban and community forestry (U&CF) programs since expansion of the federal U&CF program in 1990. Baseline data from 1986 compared with state U&CF program data in 2002 demonstrated significant expansion in state U&CF program capacity and assistance to local urban forestry efforts within the 50 United States. Use of Federal Cooperative Forestry Assistance Grants more than doubled, two additional state U&CF staff were employed within the program, time allocated to statewide coordination and regional implementation of the U&CF program approximately doubled, and a 111% national increase in the amount of state money used to finance the program occurred. In contrast, a similar minority of state coordinators in 1986 (40%) and 2002 (42%) believed adequate attention was given by the state agency housing the U&CF program. State coordinators in 2002 also had a similar outlook on the long-term future through expansion, reduction, or elimination of the state U&CF program reported in 1986 with slightly over 60% in both years believing expansion will occur. A significantly similar percentage of state U&CF program coordinators in 2002 (68%) compared with 1986 (77%) thought the state U&CF program would continue if federal funding was eliminated, however with a reduction in local assistance. Study findings suggest many positive changes in state U&CF program capacity occurred between 1986 and 2002 with various indicators suggesting dependence within some states on federal funding to maintain their current capacity.
Keywords: Financial and technical assistance; program capacity; state and federal urban and community forestry; urban forestry