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This report summarizes the results of a review of the City of Raleigh's Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department utilizing the Urban Forest Sustainability & Management Assessment System developed by Urban Forestry South - Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Athens, GA. The system is designed to provide a framework for comprehensively evaluating urban forest management programs.

The primary objectives are to:

-engage the full spectrum of the organizations' management team: executive,financial, resource, and outreach,

-provide program direction that increases the level of professionalism in urban forestmanagement,

-conduct a gap analysis of management practices and the health of green assets,

-increase the health of the green assets managed by the program, and

-optimize this management for identified ecosystem services (i.e. reach anacceptable benefit:cost ratio).

This system (the checklist and the process) can be used for municipal or county urban forest management programs, or to evaluate college or corporate campus management programs. The system is particularly suited for the independent evaluation of participants in Arbor Day Foundation programs like Tree Campus USA®, Tree City USA® or Tree Line USA®. The system identifies program components that are critical for a community interested in setting and consistently achieving sustainability targets (e.g. urban tree canopy).

The system includes 11 categories of review. This review was completed following a broader study of the urban wood utilization and management programs of the city, which included extensive internal and external stakeholder engagement and consultation. The results of that study helped inform the review process. This review as completed with the assistance of a review committee consisting of local experts.

For further information about the Urban Forest Sustainability and Management Review (UFSMR) system utilized in this project and supported by Urban Forestry South - Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Athens, GA, see: http://www.urbanforestrysouth.org/

For information about review and assessment efforts that occurred prior to and helped inform this assessment, please see the report: Raleigh, North Carolina: An Assessment of Municipal Tree Utilization and the Urban Forestry Program prepared by Dovetail Partners and available at: http://www.dovetailinc.org/report_pdfs/2016/dovetailurbanassessvanc0416.pdf

Funding for this project was provided in part through Urban & Community Forestry Grant from the North Carolina Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Region.

Special thanks to the members of the Review Committee and staff that participated in the assessment process. 

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