As a winner of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation for 14 consecutive years, Hot Springs has been selected to participate in a grant program through the Arkansas Forestry Commission that will provide free technical assistance to develop a Community Forest Storm Mitigation Plan.
The program helps ensure that when disaster hits, the community is prepared to respond to tree damage and debris management while reducing social and economic impacts. This goal is reached through the integration of national and regional U.S. Forestry Service tools and procedures into state and local management plans while building disaster preparedness and response systems that will help tree managers protect their urban forest.
Utilizing a storm preparedness manual and workbook developed specifically for Arkansas by the Arkansas Forestry Commission, along with public input, Tree Health Care, LLC has been selected to provide the technical assistance required to prepare the Community Forest Storm Mitigation Plan. Working with community staff, local tree boards, contractors, county and state emergency management agencies, Tree Care, LLC will conduct the following activities:
1. Introduce the Forest Storm Plan program to community stakeholders;
2. Review current emergency management plans;
3. Document community demographics and storm history;
4. Develop a listing of community response resources and assets;
5. Conduct an initial assessment of the community forest;
6. Develop a public information program, and
7. Develop storm response and recovery plans.
The mission of the Arkansas Forestry Commission, established in 1931, is to protect Arkansas forests and those who enjoy them from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development and conservation for all generations of Arkansans.