Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978

Section 9. (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 improved 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 build up of CO2 and aid in promoting energy conservation through mitigation of the heat island effect in urban areas ;
  5. tree plantings and ground covers urban areas and communities can aid in reducing carbon dioxide emission, mitigating heat island effects, 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;
  7. strengthened research, education, technical assistance, and public information and participation in tree planting and maintenance programs fro trees and complementary ground covers for urban and communities forests are needed to provide for the protection and expansion of tree cover and open space in urban areas and communities.

Section 9. (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 in maintaining forested lands and individual trees in urban and community settings.
  4. 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.

Section 9. (c) General Authority.

The Secretary is authorized to provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters for the purpose of encouraging States to provide information and technical 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. 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.