Statement: President Biden orders protection for forests to fight climate change

Media Contacts


SEATTLE– On Friday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of the Interior (DOI) to take the first steps toward protecting mature and old-growth trees and forests on America’s public lands. The administration framed the move as a key strategy to store carbon and address climate change.

Reflecting widely held scientific agreement on the urgent need to protect mature and old-growth forests as a climate solution, the executive order directs the USDA and DOI to complete an inventory of old-growth and mature stands on forest lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management within one year. The Climate Forests Campaign has been urging the Biden administration to enact a strong, lasting rule across federal public lands that protects mature and old-growth trees and forests from logging.

In response, Environment Washington Advocate Pam Clough issued the following statement:

“We are so pleased that President Biden chose to make this announcement here in Washington. From the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to Olympic National Forest, our state’s federal forests are helping us fight climate change every day. Our forests are home to wildlife, such as elk and marmots, and provide recreational opportunities, such as hiking, camping and fishing, that so many of us enjoy year round.”

Environment Oregon State Director Celeste Meiffren-Swango issued the following statement:

“We welcome the president’s Earth Day announcement. We have no time to lose when it comes to protecting our forests both in the United States and across the globe. Our global forests fight climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it for centuries. And forests provide habitat for wildlife and are a critical source of drinking water for our communities. This announcement is an important step forward not only for our country, but also in the international fight against climate change.”