The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ian Brickey,

Sierra Club Statement on National Old Growth Plan

Draft EIS Initiates 90-Day Comment Period on Amendment to all National Forest Plans

Today, the United States Forest Service announced a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on a plan to protect the country’s remaining old-growth trees.

The proposed amendment to all national forest plans would be a significant advance towards fulfilling Executive Order 14072, which President Biden issued in March 2022, committing the United States to “identify, inventory, and protect” mature and old-growth forests on federal lands.

Only a small fraction of old-growth forests in the U.S. remain standing. In the Pacific Northwest, barely one-quarter of old-growth conifers remain, and in parts of the East that number is even less. Recent studies have confirmed the unparalleled ability of mature and old-growth trees to absorb and store carbon pollution, which generally increases as they age, making these forests one of our best nature-based climate solutions.

The release of the DEIS kicks off a 90-day comment period, during which the public is encouraged to provide input on the draft plan.

In response, Sierra Club Forest Campaign Manager Alex Craven released the following statement:

“President Biden made a commitment to protect mature and old-growth forests in the United States, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to achieving that. Conserving what remains of our oldest forests is undoubtedly a positive step towards climate action. We look forward to engaging in this process to ensure the amendment not only retains, but increases, the amount of old-growth forests across the country. Shifting our approach to national forests from resources meant for extraction to natural wonders worth preserving is long overdue.”

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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