330,000 comments to Bureau of Land Management asking for forest protections

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DENVER – In response to a public comment period on a proposed Conservation and Landscape Health rule, more than 330,000 members of the public and supporters of environmental advocacy groups, including Environment America, are calling on the Bureau of Land Management to protect mature and old-growth trees and forests managed by the agency. 

“From the redwoods and Douglass firs of the West Coast to the birches and maples of New England, Americans love our forests. They’re some of the most special things about our country” said Ellen Montgomery, Public Lands Campaign Director for Environment America. “It’s appropriate that so many weighed in for protecting our forests so close to July 4th. On summer and holiday weekends, people spend more time hiking and camping in our forests and realize again how important they are.”

On Earth Day 2022, President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling on the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to inventory and conserve mature and old growth forests on federal land. The BLM’s rulemaking, which includes a request for feedback on how the “BLM [might] use this rule to foster ecosystem resilience of old and mature forests on BLM lands” is a step forward in implementing the president’s directives on forest conservation.

“Unfortunately, many forests managed by the BLM are threatened by logging,” continued Montgomery. “We hope that the BLM will follow President Biden’s direction and listen to the 330,000 plus people who weighed in. The agency should move quickly to protect our biggest oldest trees.”

Dozens of organizations, many of which are members of the Climate Forests Campaign submitted comments. In addition, social media viewers who learned about the issue through grassroots efforts on TikTok and Instagram submitted more than 160,000 comments.