Washington, D.C. — Today, the Biden administration announced next steps it will take to conserve and reestablish old-growth forests, including by completing a nationwide forest plan amendment. Once completed, the amendment would apply across all 193 million acres of lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.
As directed in President Joe Biden’s 2022 executive order on forest conservation, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management released an initial inventory earlier this year that identified 32 million acres of old-growth and about 80 million acres of mature forest on federal lands. While some of these lands are conserved under previous national and forest-specific policies, the United States does not have a comprehensive policy in place to conserve and reestablish old-growth forests.
In response to today’s announcement, Drew McConville, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
America’s oldest forests provide clean water, rich wildlife habitat, and important solutions to the climate crisis. By improving how our carbon-rich forests are managed, President Biden is filling a massive hole in U.S. climate strategy and making good on his promise to conserve America’s lands and waters. Today’s announcement is a major milestone, but it will take sustained commitment by the Forest Service and its partners to remedy decades of mismanagement, restore at-risk lands, and conserve and reestablish old-growth forests across the country.
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