2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting

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WHEREAS, The U. S. Conference of Mayors is working with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and American Forests to promote the need for an urban forestry program that will promote the preservation and creation of urban forest areas; and

WHEREAS, according to American Forests, since the early 1970's, major metropolitan areas have lost one-third or more "heavy tree cover"; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that better management practices will increase the overall health and robustness of urban forests through comprehensive planning and joint implementation efforts; and

WHEREAS, The U. S. Conference of Mayors recognizes that preserving existing urban forests as well as increasing "tree cover" to create robust urban forests representing the environmental health quality of cities; and

WHEREAS, urban forests are essential to improving the range of ecological services that include providing natural habitat for floral and fauna, controlling sedimentation and water runoff from nonpoint sources, mitigating carbon sequestration to improve air quality and conserving energy by reducing the urban heat index; and

WHEREAS, urban forests have also demonstrated the ability increase the genetic diversity of wildlife and pollination of important crops for agricultural production through the protection and creation of green corridors; and

WHEREAS, urban forests also hold the potential to remediate environmentally contaminated properties, called brownfields, through phytoremediation technology returning those sites to productive reuse; and

WHEREAS, urban forests provide green infrastructure for cities linking communities to recreational areas and greenspaces, improving the quality of life for residents and allowing residents to take an active role in planting, protecting and restoring forest areas,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U. S. Conference of Mayors encourages it's members to work more closely with the U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service through partnerships to craft comprehensive planning approaches in reversing urban forest tree decline by maintaining existing tree stocks and planting new trees in "low cover areas"; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U. S. Conference of Mayors strongly encourages Federal and State governments to work in cooperation with local Mayors to promote local community action in sustaining urban forests and creating a network of arborists to oversee programs and projects aimed at not only marketing but creating actual models for other areas throughout the country to adopt, thereby preventing urban forest farm decline and ensuring future sustainability; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference calls upon the Administration and Congress to include funding for urban and community forestry programs that encourage community cost share grants, urban forest research and assistance for underserved communities that may be challenged with stewardship issues.