Services for our Friend Brian Skinner

Dear Members+ of the Council,
Our longtime Council friend and champion Brian Skinner has passed away. The details for services, and a link to Brian’s obituary, are below. If you have a story of a time spent with Brian, or something nice that he did for you, or any other memory to share, could you please reply to this email to share your anecdote with editor Michelle? Thank you.

Calling Hours for Brian will be from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday, November 29th at the Schepp Family Funeral Home. They are located at: 6530 Schepp’s Corners Road,

Minoa, NY, 13116.

Brian’s Funeral Services are scheduled for 11am, Friday, November 30th at the same location.

Brian has requested donations in lieu of flowers. He suggested either the American Lung Association at or the Tree Fund at

Brian’s obituary can be viewed either later tonight at or tomorrow morning at

Michelle Sutton
Editor, Blog & E-news
New York State Urban Forestry Council

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ReLeaf 2019 Conference & MFI Diversity Leadership Training Opportunity

Dear Council Members+Two important posts to flag – kindly share with your networks. Thanks!

1. Venue and dates for ReLeaf 2019:

2. A stipend opportunity for current and future urban forestry professionals of ethnic and racial diversity to attend the 2019 Municipal Forestry Institute:

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Opportunity to have Nina Bassuk hybrid oaks in your community

Cornell Urban Hort Institute Professor Nina is ready for her unique hybrid urban-tolerant oaks to be planted out in communities where she can further evaluate them. This is a fantastic opportunity – please share with your networks.

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Compiling well wishes for Mary Kramarchyk as she embarks on new career

Dear Council members and friends,It’s a time of big change for the Council. You’ll see the news quoted below in the October newsletter from President Karen Emmerich. Mary’s last day is this Friday.

Many of you have been touched by Mary’s dedicated work and steadfast kindness over nearly 20 years. If you would like to wish her well in an upcoming blog post, please send me your reflection by end of business this Friday, Sept 28. General appreciations and specific short anecdotes are welcome. Thank you! Michelle

"We are also going to say goodbye to Mary Beck (Kramarchyk), who is leaving NYSDEC and taking a new position with the Archdiocese of New York. Mary has been the face of New York State’s Urban Forestry program for many years, and it’s hard to imagine a conference or a Tree City luncheon without her welcoming and inclusive manner. We wish her the best in her new pursuits, and hope that she understands how much we appreciate all that she’s done for the Council and urban forestry over the years."

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Pat Tobin tribute / farewell

If you didn’t get word before and want to add a distinct remembrance of your own, just shoot me an email. Thanks all!

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Greetings, Council Members!

Dear NYSUFC members,It’s the very rare occasion that I send a mass email. I wanted to
make sure my mailing list is up to date, and also alert you to some exceptionally interesting recent blog posts:

Green-Wood Cemetery Employs Drone to Assist with Oak Wilt Diagnosis

The New York Tree Trust’s James Kaechele (next in our series of Council People are the Most Interesting People)

Urban Forest Ecology: Lichens! Bioindicators & Hidden Marvels, with Laura Wyeth

If you are not receiving the monthly Taking Root e-news through MailChimp, please let me know.

Warm regards,

Michelle Sutton
Editor, Blog & E-news
New York State Urban Forestry Council

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Script for your call to Congress

Here’s text from SUFC that you can excerpt when you write or call. Thank you!!

As your constituent, I am deeply concerned with any funding reduction to the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) program. The Senate proposed a 25% cut to this important program while the House of Representatives’ Appropriation Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies recommended a funding level close to the FY 2017 amount of $28 million. I ask for your help to keep the FY 2018 amount for this program level with FY 2017, at the very least.

Our nation’s 138 million acres of urban and community forest lands affect over 80% of the U.S. population and are vital to creating and maintaining healthy, livable communities of all sizes by providing many scientifically proven social, economic, and environmental benefits to people. The ability to mitigate air pollution, reduce energy consumption, mitigate the heat island effect, improve human health, and reduce stormwater runoff have directly or indirectly reduced costs in communities by millions of dollars. The collective value and benefits of community trees equals over $10 billion nationwide. With a projected 90% of Americans living in urbanized areas by 2050, investing in trees to create livable communities needs to happen now, because it takes time to reap the benefits.

UCF directly assists state government, nonprofit organizations and partners that manage and steward our nation’s urban and community forests. Working with the state forestry agencies, the program provides technical, financial, research, and educational support and services to local government, nonprofit organizations, community groups, educational institutions, and tribal governments.

UCF helps cities and towns across the nation prepare for storms and other disturbance events, contain threats from native and invasive pests, and improve tree infrastructure and forest cover. Properly managed community forests offer towns and municipalities a cost-effective way to manage stormwater runoff, reduce heating and cooling costs, and attract more tourists and consumers. They help communities avoid storm and disaster costs through preparedness and training, and maximize the economic, social, and ecological benefits of their tree resources.

In FY 2016, U&CF reached over 7,800 communities and 200+ million people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and affiliated Pacific Island Nations. U&CF is a high-impact program and a smart investment as federal support is often leveraged 2:1 (or in many cases significantly more) by states and partner organizations. U&CF engages citizens in cities and towns, brings together diverse partners, public and private resources, and demonstrates that federal investment can have huge and lasting impacts on communities of all sizes.

Please help ensure FY 2018 levels are in line with the importance of this program.

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