The Office of City Forest Management

About the Office of Forest Management

In 2019, as the City of Los Angeles embarks upon a re-invigorated effort to upgrade the City’s urban forest, Mayor Garcetti created the post of City Forest Officer within the Board of Public Works. The post is meant to ensure all of the City’s departments and external partners use an integrated approach to achieve a shared vision for L.A.’s urban forest and help implement the urban forestry goals outlined in L.A.’s Green New Deal (https://plan.lamayor.org/). These goals include planting 90,000 trees by 2021 and increasing tree canopy by at least 50 percent by 2028 in areas with the least shade, which tend to be the City’s hottest, low-income communities.

Rachel Malarich was hired to manage LA’s urban forest across departments, create a central public information campaign, and complete an Urban Forestry Management Plan, with a focus on equity. The work of the Office of City Forest Management will include harmonizing efforts to plant and maintain trees across the City and many different Departments, Divisions and Bureaus. This office will work closely with the Urban Forestry Division of StreetsLA (https://streetsla.lacity.org/), which currently oversees street tree maintenance. Other key City players in the LA urban forest include the Mayor’s Office (https://www.lamayor.org/), Department of Recreation and Parks (https://www.laparks.org/), LA Sanitation and Environment (https://www.lacitysan.org), Bureau of Engineering (https://eng.lacity.org/), LAFD (https://www.lafd.org/), City Plants (https://www.cityplants.org/) and City Planning (https://planning.lacity.org/). 

The Office of City Forest Management will lead efforts to manage and expand the largest urban forest in the United States. It will be responsible for spearheading the development of a citywide Urban Forest Management Plan based on the outcome of the latest Street Tree Inventory, which was kicked off by Mayor Garcetti in October 2019. This work is building upon the report prepared for the City in 2018, First Step: Developing and Urban Forest Management Plan for the City of Los Angeles. (https://www.cityplants.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/10939_LA-City- Plants_FirstStep_Report_FINAL_updt_7-2019.pdf)

About the City Forest Officer

Rachel MalarichRachel Malarich has over 12 years of experience in Southern California urban forestry with a focus on urban forest management, strategic planning, and community engagement. Before her appointment as City Forest Officer, Rachel served as Assistant Director of Environmental Services for Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC), where she oversaw planting of thousands of trees in underserved communities in central Los Angleles. Prior to that, she spent a decade with Tree People, including three years as Director of Forestry. She has presented research on strategies to increase tree canopy in urban areas and improve community engagement. She is a Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor Qualified with the International Society of Arboriculture and serves on the Board of the Street Tree Seminar, the local chapter of the California Urban Forest Council. 

“Trees do more than contribute to the look and feel of our neighborhoods — they are a key tool to protect vulnerable populations, improve public health, and enhance community well-being for all Angelenos. I am honored to serve our great city under the Mayor’s leadership to help manage and expand our urban forest and prepare Los Angeles to confront the rising crisis of climate change.”