State and Private Forestry

In an effort to create local capacity to maintain the tree cover in urban areas, arboriculture training was prioritized.  Workshops were given in the following areas of arboriculture and urban forestry: tree biology, tree pruning, tree problem diagnosis, tree planting and establishment care, species selection for urban locations, shade tree appraisal, and nursery production.

The recently established Puerto Rico and US Virgin Island division of the Southern Chapter, International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) demonstrated a 2500% increase in membership since 1994. Local leadership for the ISA was developed by the Forest Service and is now functioning with minimal input.

Through grants to the two insular forestry agencies (Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources and the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture), multiple projects were funded with $70,000 of cost-share funds to non-profit groups, educational institutions, and local or insular government agencies. Priority was given to projects which increased general awareness of the value of trees, provided educational opportunities, or made the sub recipient group better able to manage their own urban or community forest resource in the future. Three hundred and sixty five communities received technical assistance from the two insular forestry agencies. Over ten thousand trees were planted in urban areas.