Can Federal Dollars Stimulate the Economy, and the Environment?
Federal government efforts to create jobs through stimulus funding have expanded to include an urban tree planting effort, to the tune of $490,000. Will this new spending help Clark County residents breathe a little easier?
The Nevada Division of Forestry has received funding from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make 2,500 trees available for free for planting by nonprofit organizations, government entities and others on urban public lands in Southern Nevada.
A statement from the U.S. Forest Service said in part: “Clark County has been devastated by the current economic recession. Funds will be used to retain and create jobs to grow and plant urban trees suited to the desert southwest. Education and training for tree care workers will also be provided to plant and manage trees for public health and safety.”
Other projects included in the almost half million dollar funding grant, according to nevadanewsbureau.com, are tree care classes for Spanish-speaking green-industry workers, a city tree inventory, and urban canopy assessments.
When averaged out, if all the trees are planted, the cost per tree is just under $200.
When asked for comment, Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, called the project “pork barrel,” and something “sought by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to win votes.”
Looks like pork, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Pass the Shake ‘n Bake, please.