This month marks the 117th anniversary of the US Forest Service. For more than a century, the agency has focused much of its resources on logging and timber sales. The Climate Forests Campaign is calling on the Biden administration to kick off a new era of climate and forest policy that values trees and forests as key pieces of the climate solution.
Members of the coalition include the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Environment America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oregon Wild, Standing Trees, Sierra Club, Southern Environmental Law Center, and Wild Heritage.
Forests—particularly older forests—store vast amounts of carbon and continue absorbing carbon as they age. Logging trees in these areas releases most of that carbon back into the atmosphere. Even under the best-case scenario, newly planted forests would not re-absorb this carbon for decades or centuries – timescales irrelevant to avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Older trees and forests are also naturally more fire resistant and help limit the impacts of climate change by slowing soil erosion and moderating temperatures.
FoA couldn’t agree more that we can’t plant our way out of the climate crisis. We explain why in our winter Action Line cover story here. Please share far and wide.