WASHINGTON — President Biden gives one command today, which recognizes the importance of ancient and ancient forests in the fight against climate change and commits the government to their preservation. The order directs two agencies, the Department of Interior (DOI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to take a statewide inventory of these forests, which are critical for storing climate-damaging carbon. It also directs authorities to identify threats to them and develop policies to protect them.
Below is an opinion from Manic BapnaPresident and CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):
“The country’s old growth forests and large trees need to stay in place, and President Biden recognizes that. They have accumulated enormous amounts of carbon and can store it for decades and centuries.
“We must respect these ‘elders’ for their crucial role in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis. That ultimately means keeping them in the forest. Long gone is the day when Americans relied on federal forests for timber, rural communities have largely shifted away from the use of large trees, and the government should help with any remaining conversions.
“President Biden’s move to shift federal forest management is an essential step in the fight against climate change. And we will work to ensure federal agencies follow the President’s lead in setting a global gold standard for forest conservation.”
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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international non-profit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our attorneys, scientists and other environmental professionals have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.