SMA Liaison Dorothy Abeyta California

Dorothy Abeyta

State Coordinators: 

John Melvin, State Urban Forester

Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

(916) 657-2289; (916) 508-2767 cell

Urban Forestry Funding & Policy for 2017

Assembly Bill 1530 introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) includes language to better support maintenance of our existing trees as well as more focus on stormwater management, workforce development, and social equity. Follow the progress of this important legislation.

California Climate Investments Grants Schedule

CalFire Urban Forestry applications for the 2nd round applicants were due April 26th. Those projects will be moving forward in the next few months.

Urban Greening grant applications are due May 1st. Funding for those projects will be awarded this fall.

Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation (EEM) is starting another round workshops and grant applications are due June 24th.

Check out grant updates at:

California 'street tree' benefits valued at $1 billion

California’s street trees are a significant asset to urban communities throughout the state. This research provides municipal foresters with information and tools to educate citizens and city leaders about street trees as a resource to be enhanced and protected. Read about the USDA Pacific Southwest Research Station findings.

People you should know:  (Who’s who in your State)

UC Cooperative Extension Urban Horticulture Specialists

Lorence Oki (530) 754-4135

Jim Downer (805) 645-1458

Steven Swain (415) 473-4204

Igor Lacan 510 684 4323

Joe McBride (510) 643-5322

Dennis Pittenger (951) 827-3320

US Forest Service  Greg McPherson 530-759-1723

California ReLeaf Executive Director Cindy Blaine (916) 497-0034

California Urban Forests Council Executive Director Nancy Hughes 415-479-8733

Western Chapter ISA Executive Director Rose Epperson 866.785.8960

CalFire Regional Urban Foresters are very approachable and knowledgeable. Get to know your regional representative.

Coming events in State:

MWELO Stakeholders Meetings

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has organized a public forum for interested stakeholders in the landscape industry and public agency sector to provide input on landscape water use efficiency topics. The public forum, in the form of a Landscape Stakeholder Advisory Group (LSAG or Group), is open to all interested parties. Two meetings have been held to-date. Additional information and meeting summaries are available at the DWR Calendar page.

The Western Chapter ISA Conference is in beautiful San Diego this year May 8 through 11. Always a great place to learn, meet new friends, greet old friends, and have fun networking and enjoying the scene. Western Chapter ISA is a great organization for learning, volunteering, and having fun! Coming this summer! Plan to spend a day to volunteer at the California State Fair in the “Ask the Arborist” Booth, Kids Climbing Corner, or be a part of the “Tree Circus” show. Details coming soon.

The California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) will be meeting in Sacramento September 25-27, 2017. The 13th annual conference ‘Building Bridges for Water’ will look at many aspects of stormwater that involve urban forestry practices and principles.

National events of interest:

Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) will hold its 53rd Annual International Urban Forestry Conference and Trade Show on November 14th, 2017 in Tulsa, OK in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation‘s Partners in Community Forestry Conference November 15-16, 2017


I am so excited to welcome you to our SMA California State Liaison webpage. I am here to help you navigate through the California programs and policies that involve urban forestry. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will do my best to help you find it. My professional experience is 30+ years with half spent as a municipal employee and half as a consultant. I managed landscape, trees and stormwater green infrastructure programs for the City of San Jose. In my current position with Davey Resource Group I am still helping cities build urban forestry programs.