Protect Our Climate Forests

What's At Stake

Mature and old-growth forests are also known as “climate forests” because they remove and absorb large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. This makes them a natural climate solution that simultaneously provides vital refuges for many at-risk species and vulnerable wildlife.

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a policy that could reduce the logging and destruction of old-growth trees in national forests, but it needs to be dramatically strengthened before it is finalized. The Forest Service also needs to issue strong protections for mature trees, which are our future old-growth forests and exist in much greater numbers than old-growth.

Together, we have urged the administration to protect mature and old-growth forests on federal lands to address our climate and biodiversity crises, and we need to keep the pressure on. We need the administration to commit to strengthening the proposed protections for old growth in national forests and also protect mature trees from logging. There’s a comment period open now until September 20th that needs your input.

Safeguarding and expanding carbon-rich forests on federal lands is one of the most important, cost-effective, and immediately available strategies to fight the climate crisis. Older trees accumulate and store enormous amounts of carbon over many centuries and provide vital wildlife habitat, clean water, clean air, and mitigation for floods and droughts. Larger, older trees are also more fire resistant.

The Forest Service’s new proposal rightly recognizes the importance of mature and old-growth forests, but doesn’t do enough to keep them from being cut down and sent to the mill.  Protecting them is the direction federal forest management needs to move in.

We need to ensure mature and old-growth trees and forests on federal lands remain in place to mitigate climate change, protect biodiversity, and continue providing their natural benefits for future generations.

A river winds through a forest seen directly from above near Klamath Falls, Oregon.
A river winds through a forest seen directly from above near Klamath Falls, Oregon. (Brian Handy / Getty Images)

60 Days Remain

Delivery to United States Forest Service

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