Preserve Our Forests

Thanks to new study, we know how valuable our forests are for fighting climate change


Pam Clough | Used by permission

Environment America has been campaigning to urge the Biden administration to protect mature and old-growth trees and forests from logging across America’s federal public lands as a cornerstone of U.S. climate policy. This week, our case was made stronger by new data showing how important our forests are for fighting climate change.

An international team of scientists released the first coast-to-coast, map-based assessment of mature and old-growth forests in the continental United States in a peer-reviewed study published by Frontiers in Forests and Global Change on Wednesday. Maps of these forests can be found at

Among the findings, the scientists found that approximately 50 million acres of mature federal forests are unprotected from logging. These forests store the equivalent of 10.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide which, if cut down over a decade, would emit the equivalent of 9% of U.S. annual greenhouse gasses.

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