Biden Administration Puts Forests on Climate Agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Biden is issuing an order today that recognizes the importance of mature and old-growth forests in the fight against climate change and commits the government to their conservation. The order directs two agencies, the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to inventory these forests nationwide, which are vital in storing climate-harming carbon.  It also directs the agencies to identify threats to them and to develop policies for their protection.

The following is a statement from Manish Bapna, president and CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“The country’s mature forests and big trees need to stay put, and President Biden is recognizing that. They’ve accumulated enormous amounts of carbon and can store it for decades and centuries.

“We need to respect these ‘elders’ for their critical role in fighting the climate and biodiversity crises. This ultimately will mean keeping them in the forest. The day has long since passed when Americans relied on federal forests for wood, rural communities have largely transitioned away from using big trees, and the government should help with any remaining transition. 

“President Biden’s move to shift federal forest management is an essential step in fighting climate change. And we will be working to make sure federal agencies follow the President’s lead to set a global gold standard on forest protection.”


NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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