State foresters call for reauthorization of national urban tree planting program

WASHINGTON—The National Association of State Foresters actively works to promote community tree planting, public-private partnerships, and volunteer tree planting efforts that help stimulate local economies, create jobs, and mobilize community spirit. As part of a national strategy towards economic recovery, NASF encourages Congress to reauthorize the National Small Business Tree Planting Program, and in turn, bolster local economies and improve tree canopy cover.

Senator Ron Wyden has introduced the Small Business Environmental Stewardship Assistance Act of 2010 (S 3279), which reauthorizes the Small Business Administration (SBA) National Small Business Tree Planting Program. The program helped plant 23 million trees in communities across the U.S. during the early 1990s.

Under the new program, the SBA will again provide grants to state forestry agencies to contract with local nurseries, arborists and landscapers to plant trees around retail storefronts, rental housing complexes and community parks. The program can help provide green-collar jobs, reduce energy demand, and clean the air of harmful pollutants. State Foresters strongly recommend that Congress reauthorize and reinvest in the program by appropriating $50 million during FY2011 to FY2015.

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