Canadian Urban Forest Strategy (CUFS)
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The Canadian Urban Forest Strategy (CUFS) was first articulated in 2006 as a strategic initiative of Canada’s urban forest practitioners including: foresters, managers, arborists, planners, community workers and politicians. It coincided with Canada’s National Forest Strategy (1988-2008) a government, NGO and private sector coalition whose aim was to move Canada towards forest sustainability. The final iteration (2003-2008) of the National Forest Strategy included a section on urban forests.
According to the 2011 census, 81.1% of Canadians live in urban areas. The urban forest in and around these towns and cities provide many benefits including: sequestering of gaseous air pollutants and particulates; energy conservation; storm-water attenuation; noise buffering; provision of wildlife habitat; increased property value; improved aesthetics; psychological well being; and recreational and educational opportunities. These benefits accrue not only to the owners of the trees and forest but to the entire community. While the same can be said for the wildland forests of Canada, the connection in the urban forest is much more dramatic because the beneficiaries live within the urban forest.
The 2013-2018 CUFS resulted in the establishment of five working groups to facilitate the implementation of tasks that have been identified.
This working group will facilitate the development of an infrastructure that ensures urban forestry issues in Canada are addressed in a strategic and comprehensive manner at the national, provincial, municipal and community level.
This working group will facilitate the exchange of information among members of the urban forestry community as well as to the general public, allied professions, organizations and policy makers.
This working group will identify specific research needs and will facilitate the completion of this work. It will also address actions associated with the extension of research results to practitioners in all disciplines.
This working group will facilitate the identification of these techniques and technologies and will assist municipalities, groups and individuals to adopt (and adapt) them to ensure the sustained supply of ecological, economic and social benefits from Canada’s urban forests.
This working group will facilitate the development and advancement of a highly trained urban forestry workforce as well as a cadre of informed allied professionals at the national, provincial and municipal levels.