16 U.S. Code § 2105 - Urban and community forestry assistance

(a) Findings
The Congress finds that—
(1) the health of forests in urban areas and communities, including cities, their suburbs, and towns, in the United States is on the decline;
(2) forest lands, shade trees, and open spaces in urban areas and communities improve the quality of life for residents;
(3) forest lands and associated natural resources enhance the economic value of residential and commercial property in urban and community settings;
(4) urban trees are 15 times more effective than forest trees at reducing the buildup of carbon dioxide and aid in promoting energy conservation through mitigation of the heat island effect in urban areas;
(5) tree plantings and ground covers such as low growing dense perennial turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect, and reducing energy consumption, thus contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends;
(6) efforts to encourage tree plantings and protect existing open spaces in urban areas and communities can contribute to the social well-being and promote a sense of community in these areas; and
(7) strengthened research, education, technical assistance, and public information and participation in tree planting and maintenance programs for trees and complementary ground covers for urban and community forests are needed to provide for the protection and expansion of tree cover and open space in urban areas and communities.
(b) Purposes
The purposes of this section are to—
(1) improve understanding of the benefits of preserving existing tree cover in urban areas and communities;
(2) encourage owners of private residences and commercial properties to maintain trees and expand forest cover on their properties;
(3) provide education programs and technical assistance to State and local organizations (including community associations and schools) in maintaining forested lands and individual trees in urban and community settings and identifying appropriate tree species and sites for expanding forest cover;
(4) provide assistance through competitive matching grants awarded to local units of government, approved organizations that meet the requirements of section 501 (c)(3) of title 26, or other local community tree volunteer groups, for urban and community forestry projects;
(5) implement a tree planting program to complement urban and community tree maintenance and open space programs and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, conserve energy, and improve air quality in addition to providing other environmental benefits;
(6) promote the establishment of demonstration projects in selected urban and community settings to illustrate the benefits of maintaining and creating forest cover and trees;
(7) enhance the technical skills and understanding of sound tree maintenance and arboricultural practices including practices involving the cultivation of trees, shrubs and complementary ground covers, of individuals involved in the planning, development, and maintenance of urban and community forests and trees; and
(8) expand existing research and educational efforts intended to improve understanding of—
(A) tree growth and maintenance, tree physiology and morphology, species adaptations, and forest ecology,
(B) the value of integrating trees and ground covers,
(C) the economic, environmental, social, and psychological benefits of trees and forest cover in urban and community environments, and
(D) the role of urban trees in conserving energy and mitigating the urban heat island.
(c) General authority
The Secretary is authorized to provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials for the purpose of encouraging States to provide information and technical assistance to units of local government and others that will encourage cooperative efforts to plan urban forestry programs and to plant, protect, and maintain, and utilize wood from, trees in open spaces, greenbelts, roadside screens, parks, woodlands, curb areas, and residential developments in urban areas. In providing such assistance, the Secretary is authorized to cooperate with interested members of the public, including nonprofit private organizations. The Secretary is also authorized to cooperate directly with units of local government and others in implementing this section whenever the Secretary and the affected State forester or equivalent State official agree that direct cooperation would better achieve the purposes of this section.
(d) Program of education and technical assistance
The Secretary, in cooperation with State foresters and State extension directors or equivalent State officials and interested members of the public, including nonprofit private organizations, shall implement a program of education and technical assistance for urban and community forest resources. The program shall be designed to—
(1) assist urban areas and communities in conducting inventories of their forest resources, including inventories of the species, number, location, and health of trees in urban areas and communities, identifying opportunities for the establishment of plantings for the purposes of conserving energy, and determining the status of related resources (including fish and wildlife habitat, water resources, and trails);
(2) assist State and local organizations (including community associations and schools) in organizing and conducting urban and community forestry projects and programs;
(3) improve education and technical support in—
(A) selecting tree species appropriate for planting in urban and community environments and for promotion of energy conservation;
(B) providing for proper tree planting, maintenance, and protection in urban areas and communities;
(C) protecting individual trees and preserving existing open spaces with or without tree cover; and
(D) identifying opportunities for expanding tree cover in urban areas and communities;
(4) assist in the development of State and local management plans for trees and associated resources in urban areas and communities; and
(5) increase public understanding of the energy conservation, economic, social, environmental, and psychological values of trees and open space in urban and community environments and expand knowledge of the ecological relationships and benefits of trees and related resources in these environments.
(e) Procurement of plant materials
The Secretary, in cooperation with State foresters or equivalent State officials, shall assist in identifying sources of plant materials and may procure or otherwise obtain such plant materials from public or private sources and may make such plant materials available to urban areas and communities for the purpose of reforesting open spaces, replacing dead and dying urban trees, promoting energy conservation, and providing other environmental benefits through expanding tree cover in urban areas and communities.
(f) Challenge cost-share program
(1) In general
The Secretary shall establish an urban and community forestry challenge cost-share program. Funds or other support shall be provided under such program to eligible communities and organizations, on a competitive basis, for urban and community forestry projects. The Secretary shall annually make awards under the program in accordance with criteria developed in consultation with, and after consideration of recommendations received from, the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council established under subsection (g) of this section. Each State forester or equivalent State official may make recommendations to the Secretary for awards under the program for project proposals in their State which meet such criteria. Awards shall be consistent with the cost-share requirements of this section.
(2) Cost-sharing
The Federal share of support for a project provided under this subsection may not exceed 50 percent of the support for that project and shall be provided on a matching basis. The non-Federal share of such support may be in the form of cash, services, or in-kind contributions.
(g) Forestry Advisory Council
(1) Establishment and purpose
The Secretary shall establish a National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (hereafter in this section referred to as the “Council”) for the purpose of—
(A) developing a national urban and community forestry action plan;
(B) evaluating the implementation of that plan; and
(C) developing criteria for, and submitting recommendations with respect to, the urban and community forestry challenge cost-share program under subsection (f) of this section.
(2) Composition and operation
(A) Composition
The Council shall be composed of 15 members appointed by the Secretary, as follows:
(i) 2 members representing national nonprofit forestry and conservation citizen organizations,
(ii) 3 members, 1 each representing State, county, and city and town governments,
(iii) 1 member representing the forest products, nursery, or related industries,
(iv) 1 member representing urban forestry, landscape, or design consultants,
(v) 2 members representing academic institutions with an expertise in urban and community forestry activities,
(vi) 1 member representing State forestry agencies or equivalent State agencies,
(vii) 1 member representing a professional renewable natural resource or arboricultural society,
(viii) 1 member from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture,
(ix) 1 member from the Forest Service, and
(x) 2 members who are not officers or employees of any governmental body, 1 of whom is a resident of a community with a population of less than 50,000 as of the most recent census and both of whom have expertise and have been active in urban and community forestry.
(B) Vacancy
A vacancy in the Council shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
(C) Chairperson
The Secretary shall select 1 member, from members appointed to the Council, who is not an officer or employee of the United States nor any State, county, city, or town government, who shall serve as the chairperson of the Council.
(D) Terms
(i) In general Except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph, members shall be appointed for terms of 3 years, and no member may serve more than 2 consecutive terms on the Council.
(ii) Staggered terms Of the members first appointed—
(I) 5, including the chairperson and 2 governmental employees, shall be appointed for a term of 3 years,
(II) 5, including 2 governmental employees, shall be appointed for a term of 2 years, and
(III) 5, including 2 governmental employees, shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, as designated by the Secretary at the time of appointment.
(iii) Continuation Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term of the member’s predecessor shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term. A member may serve after the expiration of the member’s term until the member’s successor has taken office.
(E) Compensation
(i) In general Except as provided in clause (ii), members of the Council shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for reasonable costs incurred while in the actual performance of duties vested in the Council.
(ii) Federal officers and employees Members of the Council who are full-time officers or employees of the United States shall receive no additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Council.
(iii) Financial and administrative support The Secretary shall provide financial and administrative support for the Council.
(3) Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan
Within 1 year after November 28, 1990, and every 10 years thereafter, the Council shall prepare a National Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan. The plan shall include (but not be limited to) the following:
(A) An assessment of the current status of urban forest resources in the United States.
(B) A review of urban and community forestry programs and activities in the United States, including education and technical assistance activities conducted by the Department of Agriculture, and other Federal agencies, the State forestry organizations, private industry, private nonprofit organizations, community and civic organizations and interested others.
(C) Recommendations for improving the status of the Nation’s urban and community forest resources, including education and technical assistance and modifications required in existing programs and policies of relevant Federal agencies.
(D) A review of urban and community forestry research, including—
(i) a review of all ongoing research associated with urban and community forests, arboricultural practices, and the economic, social, and psychological benefits of trees and forest cover in urban and community environments being conducted by the Forest Service, other Federal agencies, and associated land grant colleges and universities;
(ii) recommendations for new and expanded research efforts directed toward urban and community forestry concerns; and
(iii) a summary of research priorities and an estimate of the funds needed to implement such research, on an annual basis, for the next 10 years.
(E) Proposed criteria for evaluating proposed projects under the urban and community forestry challenge cost share program under subsection (f) of this section, with special emphasis given to projects that would demonstrate the benefits of improved forest management (including the maintenance and establishment of forest cover and trees) in urban areas and communities.
(F) An estimate of the resources needed to implement the National Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan for the succeeding 10 fiscal years.
(4) Amendment of plan
The plan may be amended by a majority of the Council members. Such amendments shall be incorporated into the Council’s annual review of the plan submitted to the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection.
(5) Review of plan
The Council shall submit the plan to the Secretary and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate upon its completion. Beginning no later than one year after the plan is submitted and annually thereafter, the Council shall submit a review of the plan to the Secretary no later than December 31. The review shall consist of—
(A) the Council’s assessment of prior year accomplishments in research, education, technical assistance, and related activities in urban and community forestry;
(B) the Council’s recommendations for research, education, technical assistance, and related activities in the succeeding year; and
(C) the Council’s recommendations for the urban and community forestry challenge cost share projects to be funded during the succeeding year.
The review submitted to the Secretary shall be incorporated into the annual report required under section 1601 (d) of this title.
(6) Detail of personnel
Upon request of the Council, the Secretary is authorized to detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of the Department of Agriculture to the Council to assist the Council in carrying out its duties under this chapter.
(h) Definitions
For the purposes of this section—
(1) the term “Council” means the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council established under subsection (g) of this section;
(2) the term “plan” means the National Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan developed under subsection (g)(3) of this section; and
(3) the term “urban and community area” includes cities, their suburbs, and towns.
(i) Authorization of appropriations
There are hereby authorized to be appropriated $30,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1991 through 1995, and such sums as may be necessary for each fiscal year thereafter, for the implementation of this section.

Source

(Pub. L. 95–313, § 9, formerly § 6,July 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 369; renumbered § 9 and amended Pub. L. 101–624, title XII, §§ 1215(1), 1219(a),Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3525, 3533; Pub. L. 102–237, title X, § 1018(a)(3),Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 110–234, title VII, § 7511(c)(36),May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1271; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title VII, § 7511(c)(36),June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 2032.)
Codification

November 28, 1990, referred to in subsec. (g)(3), was in the original “the date of enactment of this subsection”, which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 101–624, which amended this section generally, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Amendments

2008—Subsec. (g)(2)(A)(viii). Pub. L. 110–246, § 7511(c)(36), substituted “National Institute of Food and Agriculture” for “Extension Service”.
1991—Subsec. (g)(1)(C), (3)(E). Pub. L. 102–237, § 1018(a)(3)(A), (B), substituted “subsection (f)” for “subsection (e)”.
Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 102–237, § 1018(a)(3)(C), substituted “subsection (g)” for “subsection (f)”.
Subsec. (h)(2). Pub. L. 102–237, § 1018(a)(3)(D), substituted “subsection (g)(3)” for “subsection (f)(3)”.
1990—Pub. L. 101–624amended section generally, substituting present provisions for provisions relating to Congressional findings concerning urban forestry assistance, financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials to encourage planning of urban forestry programs, and authorization of appropriations.
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234by Pub. L. 110–246effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.
Amendment by section 7511(c)(36) ofPub. L. 110–246effective Oct. 1, 2009, see section 7511(c) ofPub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 1522 of Title 7, Agriculture.
Termination of Advisory Councils

Advisory councils established after Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of their establishment, unless, in the case of a council established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such council is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a council established by the Congress, its duration is otherwise provided by law. See sections 3(2) and 14 ofPub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 770, 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

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