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.

Technical Assistance 

UCF staff serve as technical experts in urban forestry. The statewide team supports organizations that focus on improving urban forests and stakeholders such as municipalities, counties, schools and special districts, non-profit organizations, advisory or advocacy groups, other state agencies, research institutions, and individuals/volunteers. CAL FIRE also works closely with partner organizations who provide technical assistance to individuals.

Equity, Education, & Outreach

The UCF Program administers, delivers, or substantially participates in statewide programs.  These include Project Learning Tree, Tree City USA, Arbor Day events, the California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) and associated water conservation outreach, Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, workforce development, tree care industry standards updates, promoting public/private partnerships, and encouraging urban dwellers to develop a stewardship ethic for natural resources. The UCF Program strives to improve equity in California’s urban forest resources by proactively engaging and supporting disadvantaged and low-income communities.

Grant Administration 

UCF staff administer and provide technical support for grant-related activities such as tree planting, municipal tree inventories, management plans, urban forest educational efforts, and innovative urban forestry projects.  As of January 2022, the UCF Program is administering or preparing to award approximately 117 grants funded by State sources (California Climate Investments (CCI), bonds, and General Fund) and 12 sub-grants using Federal sources (US Forest Service).