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.
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.
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). 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.
A vacancy in the Council shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
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.
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.
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.
The Secretary shall provide financial and administrative support for the Council.
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.