Tell President Biden – U.S. Climate Strategy Must Protect Forests
Our mature and old-growth are some of our most powerful climate solutions. But these forests are still being logged when they should be set aside for carbon storage, wildlife habitat, and clean water.
We need the Biden administration to understand that forest defense is climate defense!
When we protect our older forests from logging, we both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure these forests continue to store vast amounts of carbon —a win-win climate change solution! Our intact forests also offer unique and critical habitat for at-risk fish and wildlife, including the (add regional examples — Ex: iconic Pacific Northwest Salmon). Healthy forests also filter water to keep our streams, rivers, and lakes clean and cold, and these same forests protect watersheds and communities from flooding and landslides.
Please join us in calling on President Biden, Secretary Vilsack, and Secretary Haaland, to incorporate permanent protections for mature and old-growth temperate rainforests as part of our nation’s strategy to address climate change.
- White House: firstname.lastname@example.org (**Emails should be addressed to President Biden and Gina McCarthy)
- USDA and USFS: email@example.com (**Emails should be addressed to Secretary Vilsack)
- DOI: firstname.lastname@example.org (** Emails should be addressed to Secretary Haaland)
Dear President Biden, Secretary Vilsack, and Secretary Haaland
Please ensure permanent protections for mature and old-growth forests on federal lands are a central component of our nation’s strategy to address the joint climate and extinction crises. Our older forests are still being logged at an alarming rate — this directly undermines the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change and protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030.
Taking administrative action to conserve older forests on the United States’ federal lands will represent a broad win for this Administration by mitigating and adapting to the current and future impacts of climate change, conserving habitat to counter the biodiversity crisis, and securing a wide range of co-benefits. Unfortunately, thus far the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have not produced credible proposals for combating climate change nationwide, or for conserving carbon-rich older forests and trees on the lands they manage. The administration should correct that error by protecting older forests and trees on public lands in the United States from logging.
In 2021, the Biden administration announced that it would halt large-scale old-growth logging in the Tongass National Forest. While a critical protective step, additional action is urgently needed to both expand older forest and tree protections across the United States and to ensure that the protections are enduring for the benefit of this and future generations.
We strongly urge you to take administrative action to protect older forests and trees on public lands in the United States from logging and to ensure federal agencies work to recover these carbon-rich landscapes for their climate, biodiversity, and watershed benefits to our nation.
Key Information and Research
- Plans to quadruple logging in US’s most popular forest – months after Biden’s Cop26 reforestation pledge (Jan. 25th, 2022)
- Interested in protecting old-growth forests? Here are some steps you can take. (January 7th, 2022)
- The Old Man and the Tree (January, 2022)
- This tree has stood here for 500 years. Will it be sold for $17,500? (December 30th, 2021)
- Oregon scientists call for more forest protection to fight climate change, save species (December 14th, 2021)
- US forests hold climate keys (November 15th, 2021)
- Experts Bemoan Biden’s Mixed Messages On Old-Growth Forests (Nov. 4, 2021)
- Old-growth forests of Pacific Northwest could be key to climate action (Sep 1st, 2021)
- Biden moves to protect the Tongass, North America’s largest rainforest, from logging and road building (August 4th, 2021)
- Name the Tongass rainforest a Forest Carbon Reserve to save it (June 27th, 2021)
- Biden’s Climate Chops Face A Big Test On Old-Growth Forests – (May 20th, 2021)
- Keeping trees in the ground where they are already growing is an effective low-tech way to slow climate change – (Feb 21, 2021)
- A strategic natural-carbon reserve to fight climate change (December 1st, 2020)
- Land use strategies to mitigate climate change in carbon dense temperate forests (2018)
- Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States (2019)
- Old-growth forests as global carbon sinks (2008)
- Meeting GHG reduction targets requires accounting for all forest sector emissions (2019)
- Have product substitution carbon benefits been overestimated? A sensitivity analysis of key assumptions (2019)
- Summer streamflow deficits from regenerating Douglas-fir forest in the Pacific Northwest, USA (2016)
- Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co‐benefits of preserving forests in the western United States (2019)
- Severe fire weather and intensive forest management increase fire severity in a multi-ownership landscape (2018)