Mission Statement & History

Mission Statement & History Photo by Meridith Perkins

Mission Statement

The Utah Community Forest Council/International Society of Arboriculture-Utah Chapter is a non-profit organization that advocates for proper management and care of Utah's community forests through partnerships, and public and professional education.


In the 1960s, some Utah residents formed the Utah Association of Shadetree Commission. The group did not incorporate and its business was conducted informally. While the group had the best of intentions, it lacked consistency without a formal structure. Directors were appointed, and officers came and went. Eventually, the organization dissolved in about 1985.

When Congress enacted the 1990 Farm Bill (officially called the 1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act), it included the Forest Stewardship Assistance Act. That Act authorized the Forest Legacy Program, Forest Stewardship Program, Forestry Incentives Program and Stewardship Incentives Program. The 1990 Farm Bill also included a separate Conservation Title with forestry-related elements, such as tree-planting initiatives. Funding from the 1990 Farm Bill, made available through the UDSA Forest Service, was used to significantly stimulate urban forestry programs. Funds became available in 1991 and allowed the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands (FFSL) to hire a full-time urban forestry coordinator, provide for coordination of related volunteer efforts, create a community forest council, and establish a five-year strategic plan.

With support and encouragement from FFSL, a group of people interested in arboriculture began working toward creation of the Utah Community Forest Council. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were drafted and approved by the state. On July 15, 1991, the Utah Community Forest Council was officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In 1999, a petition was submitted to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) requesting establishment of a Utah chapter. The petition was approved, and the ISA/Utah Chapter was formed.

The two organizations have since been united and are jointly administered.