Protecting mature and old-growth forests on federal lands is now possible by executive order
SEATTLE President Joe Biden will issue an executive OrderIt directs federal agencies in the United States to make an inventory of all mature and old-growth forests on federal lands, so that policies can be developed to protect them. The move was seen by the administration as a key strategy to address climate change and store carbon.
Conservation groups praised Brenda Mallory, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, for her commitment to full-scale environmental protection. The United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior (DOI), must quickly develop policies to protect mature forests as well as big trees from threats such as logging. This policy can be a global model for forest protection.
We are pleased to hear that the president has announced Earth Day. Ellen MontgomeryFrom Environment America. We don’t have time to lose when protecting forests across the globe and in the United States. Our global forests help mitigate climate changeBy absorbing carbon dioxide from air and storing it for many decades or even centuries. Forests are vital for the survival of our wildlife and provide drinking water for our communities. This announcement is a significant step forward for the United States and for our international leadership in combating climate change.
135 climate and resource experts wrote a letter confirming the administration’s support. Over many centuries, old trees accumulate and store huge amounts of carbon. This provides habitat for wildlife, clean air, clean water and mitigation for droughts and floods. It is crucial to protect them in the fight against climate changes.
We salute President Biden’s efforts to protect and restore mature and old growth forests and recognize the value of forests in a climate solution. We urge the administration to quickly adopt a simple rule to protect federal forests across the country from logging and other threats. This is a key pillar of our national climate strategy. Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen. The United States can and should lead the international implementation of forest protections as a solution to the dual crises posed by climate change and biodiversity loss. This is a significant step towards protecting our federal forests at home.
In accordance with widely held scientific consensus, the executive order directs USDA and DOI (the U.S. Forest Service & the Bureau of Land Management) to complete an inventory of mature and old-growth stands on forest lands under their control within one year. This process will quickly inform a rule-making process that provides durable protection for old-growth and mature forests across all federal lands.
Protecting mature forests can be a significant climate action. Garett Rose, Staff attorney With NRDC(The Natural Resources Defense Council). The President’s welcome gesture recognizes the importance and need for strong protection of federal lands for older forests and large trees. It is long past the time when Americans depended on federal forests to provide their timber. Rural communities have made the transition from processing large-diameter trees to processing them. This is a great opportunity for Interior and USDA, to set a lasting policy and be a strong example for global tree conservation.
The Climate Forests CampaignHe has been urging the Biden Administration to enact a strong and lasting rule across federal public land that protects mature-growth trees, forests from logging, and allows for the recovery old-growth forests that are lost.
This smart move by President Biden signals that he is serious about protecting forests at home and abroad. Randi SpivakAt the Center for Biological Diversity. Older trees and forests are the best carbon capture technology. It is time to end the logging of carbon-storing champions in federal forests. We don’t have any time to lose in order to ensure permanent protection of old-growth and mature forests and trees.
This announcement comes thirteen months after President Biden signed an executive Order. Climate Crisis: Home and AbroadIt outlined a path for net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050 and worked with international partners to create a sustainable climate pathway.
Our federal forest lands store 35 million metric tons carbon. This makes them a natural tool in the toolbox for tackling the climate crisis. Kirin Kennedy From Sierra Club. For decades, the U.S. has been missing a link in its climate policy. This has been achieved by conserving and protecting our forests and old growth trees. Today’s President Biden’s leadership is encouraging in the hope that forests can be part the climate solution.
When people are looking for the best human-created carbon storage technology, they often forget what already exists in nature. Simply by managing our forests and oceans responsiblyWe could reach as high as 37% of the emission reductions required to avoid the worst-case climate predictions by 2030.
Old and mature forests are a workhorse, providing vital habitat, clean waters, and resilience against droughts and floods. Zack Porter, Executive Director This isStanding TreesThe, which advocates for the recovery of New England’s old-growth forests. Only 3% of New England’s forests are allowed for old growth. By restoring old-growth forests to federal public lands, we can do justice to the environment, biodiversity, and communities.
Center for Biological Diversity and Environment America, Earthjustice, Environment America Natural Resources Defense Council Oregon Wild, Sierra Club, Standing Trees, and Oregon Wild plan to work with the administration over the coming months to develop a strong, durable rule that will apply to federal forestlands.
Protecting America’s old-growth forests and allowing new giants to grow is one of the most important steps we can take in combating climate change. Steve PederyWith Oregon Wild. We thank President Biden, for taking this important step, and look forward working with the White House on strong, permanent protections for America’s old-growth and mature forests on Americas public lands.
For more information:
Ellen Montgomery, Environment America, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-583-4024
Blaine Miller-McFeeley, Earthjustice, email@example.com, 202-745-5225
Anne Hawke, Natural Resources Defense Council. firstname.lastname@example.org. 646-823-4518
Randi Spivak, Center for Biological Diversity, email@example.com, 310-779-4894
Medhini Kumar, Sierra Club, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zack Porter, Standing Trees (New England), email@example.com, 617-872-5352
Steve Pedery (he/him), Oregon Wild, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-998-8411