Urban & Community Forestry

Under the authority of the Urban Forestry Act (PRC 4799.06 - 4799.12) the Urban & Community Forestry Program (UCF) works to expand and improve the management of trees and related vegetation in communities throughout California. 

The mission of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Urban Forestry Program is to lead the effort to advance the development of sustainable urban and community forests in California. Trees provide energy conservation, reduction of storm-water runoff, extend the life of surface streets, improve local air, soil and water quality, reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, improve public health, provide wildlife habitat and increase property values. In short, they improve the quality of life in our urban environments which, increasingly, are where Californians live, work, and play.  The program also administers State and Federal grants throughout California communities to advance urban forestry efforts.

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Program Staff provide expert urban forestry support to communities, non-profit groups and other municipal governments to create and maintain sustainable urban forests.  These specialists also administer and provide technical support for grant-related activities such as tree planting, municipal tree inventories, and management plans, urban forest educational efforts, and innovative urban forestry projects. 

CAL FIRE's Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP), The 2017 Assessment covers a broad range of topics across both private and public lands. Each chapter includes a number of indicators that collectively are used to evaluate the sustainability of forest and rangelands. Chapter 3 of this assessment includes a detailed report on California's Urban and Community forests.

The program's mission is accomplished in cooperation with many groups including:

Additional partners include other state agencies, non-profit organizations, private urban forestry, and arboricultural companies, power and utility companies, cities, counties, special districts, and professional organizations.  These varied partners are brought together via the Director's advisory committee for urban and community forestry, the California Urban Forestry Advisory Committee (CUFAC).  Together they discuss trends, address concerns, develop suggestions for consideration by CAL FIRE management, and provide support and information to their local communities on urban forestry issues.

California's State Urban Forestry Program also works with our Fire Prevention Program in advocating fire-safe landscaping for homeowners and communities. Landscape design, tree selection, and maintenance are critical elements in reducing the spread of fire and the risk to adjacent buildings. Even well-designed landscapes can become hazardous if not properly maintained. The program encourages compliance with the defensible space requirement for communities in the urban-wildland interface areas (PRC 4291) and offers suggestions for types of trees, landscape designs and pruning methods to assist homeowners in meeting that standard. 

CAL FIRE Urban and Community Forestry is dedicated to California's efforts under AB32 to adapt to and mitigate climate change. For more information about CAL FIREs statewide forestry strategies for reducing or mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, please visit our Climate Change and Energy page.

California Urban Forestry Advisory Committee

Purpose: The California Urban Forestry Advisory Committee (CUFAC) has been established to advise the Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) on the State’s Urban Forestry Program.

CUFAC Nominations: CAL FIRE is seeking nominations for advisory committee members.  The positions are not compensated, but travel costs can be covered.  The CUFAC meets 2-4 times per year.  Due to COVID-19, meetings currently are done online from home. Members are appointed by the Director. The purpose and duties of this advisory body can be found in the CUFAC Charter (link above).  New nominees and those seeking a second term to serve in one of the positions below, need to fill out the nomination form (also linked above) and follow the instructions. Nominations due April 8th, 2021.


  1. State Government (1)
  2. County Government (1)
  3. City/Town Government (1)
  4. Academic Expert or Researcher
  5. Urban Forestry, Landscape, or Design Consultant (1)
  6. UC Cooperative Extension (1)
  7. Federal, State, or Local Water Agency
  8. Urban or Environmental Planner
  9. Non-Government Resident of a City or Town With Population Over 150,000
  10. Non-Government Resident of a City or Town With Population Under 150,000