Characteristics of Urban Forestry Programs in Utah

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Journal of Arboriculture





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Urban/community forestry programs in Utah, U.S., were studied; a questionnaire was sent to community forestry contacts in every incorporated community in the state in summer 2002. Respondents reported on program support, budget, management authority and practices, strengths and weaknesses, and training and information needs. Program support from residents, town officials, and employees was fairly strong, with 80% indicating some support. One-quarter of towns have a tree board and celebrate Arbor Day. Towns obtain assistance from nurseries or tree care businesses, Extension, and state forestry, in that order. Two-thirds of communities have a tree-related budget, with a mean budget of US$44,000 and a median budget of $3,000, averaging $2.58 per resident and $25.16 per tree. Total budget generally increased with population, but the smallest towns had the largest per capita and per tree budgets. Most towns spend enough to qualify for Tree City USA’s requirement of $2 per capita. The ratio of spending for maintenance versus planting increased from 0.6 for small towns to 4.1 for larger cities. Just under two-thirds of communities have forestry programs. The average number of public trees per town is about 2,300 (median 150), with numbers of trees increasing as population increased, but with trees per capita generally decreasing as population increased, ranging from 0.21 to 0.43 trees per person

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