The Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry’s own Laura Buntrock, Urban Forestry Program Specialist, and Olivia Witthun, Urban Forestry Coordinator, were awarded the National Association of State Foresters’ (NASF) Steve Sinclair Current Achievement Award for Urban and Community Forestry for their work in the recently published study on the economic benefits of urban and community forestry (UCF). The award ceremony took place at NASF’s 2022 annual meeting, and their awards represent extraordinary contributions to state and private forestry.
The economic study, covering the entirety of the Northeast-Midwest region (20 states and the District of Columbia), is the first comprehensive analysis of economic UCF benefits at a regional scale. Its findings justify the enhancement of current UCF programs and the creation of new initiatives to support urban forest management. They have already helped launch similar research in the South and the state of California.
The scope of the urban forestry industry includes:
- Private businesses
- Utility companies
- Local and state governments
- Higher education institutions
- Nonprofit organizations associated with urban forestry in the region
You can read our article that summarizes the study here. You can find the full report and fact sheets on the DNR site on the “Forestry and the Wisconsin Economy” page, under the “Economic Contributions of Urban Forestry” subsection, or directly on the National Association of State Foresters’ site.
Congratulations to Laura Buntrock and Olivia Witthun for your well-deserved award, and thank you for your work in progressing urban and community forestry as a field!