Sacramento, a Tree City USA community, is known as the “Tree Capital of the World.” It’s also where Governor Jerry Brown presides as the leader of California state government.
Governor Brown has played a key role in establishing community forestry in California. During his first term, The Urban Forestry Act of 1978 created an urban forestry program through state law, allowing California’s Depart of Forestry and Fire Protection – also known as Cal Fire – to “implement a program in urban forestry to encourage better tree management and planting in urban areas.”
Since again becoming Governor in 2011, Brown has continued his legacy leading to historic funding levels for California’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
In 2012, Assembly Bill 1492 provided the first and only sustainable revenue source in support of urban forestry — up to 30 million dollars annually.
In 2013, Brown put his stamp on a Three-Year Investment Plan that highlights urban forestry as an investment area for greenhouse gas reductions, improved public health, and environmental justice.
California Governor Jerry Brown with his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, Governor of California from 1959 to 1967, at Echo Summit/Desolation Wilderness
Always steadfast to his commitment to support urban forestry, Brown signed a state budget on June 20, 2014 containing 17.8 million dollars for Cal Fire’s Urban and Community Forestry Program – the largest one-year, single-state allocation for urban forestry in the entire history of the United States.
Governor Brown continues to highlight the value of community forests, noting, “Trees provide shelter for us and birds and wildlife. They give us shade and conserve our soil. We harvest fruit from trees and at the same time enjoy their beauty. We plant trees not only for the benefit of this generation but as our gift to posterity.”
As Jerry Brown enters his fourth and final term as Governor of California, the future of urban forestry is bright. Through Governor Brown’s actions, California has a successful Urban and Community Forestry Program, a tax to support it, and a revenue source to support greenhouse gas reduction projects and benefit disadvantaged communities. Governor Jerry Brown is indeed a true Champion of Trees.
California Governor Jerry Brown is the recipient of the 2015 Champion of Trees Public Service Award. This year’s Arbor Day Award ceremony will be held at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, located at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Saturday, April 25.
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