The continued logging of mature and old-growth trees and forests on Forest Service and BLM lands undermines President Biden’s international leadership on forest conservation and climate change.
On Apr 22, 2022, President Biden recognized the importance of our mature and old-growth trees and forests on federal lands as an essential climate solution, and directed federal agencies to define, inventory, and develop policies to protect them. Despite this Executive Order, the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management continue to log these essential climate-saving trees and forests at alarming rates. The Climate Forests campaign released a report called “Worth More Standing,” in July 2022 which outlines over 240,000 acres of egregious mature and old-growth logging projects taking place on our federal public lands right now.
Our latest report, America’s Vanishing Climate Forests comes more than 6 months after President Biden’s Executive Order directive and serves as a progress report detailing the urgent, imminent, and continued threat of logging to our federal public lands. Findings show that federal agencies have done nothing to correct the course on any of the original logging projects highlighted this past summer, with the exception of two projects where a judge found agencies were illegally harming an imperiled species. Rather, America’s Vanishing Climate Forests spotlights 12 additional egregious examples of mature and old-growth logging set to take place in federal forests in defiance of President Biden’s order to protect them.
The U.S. Forest service claims that mature and old-growth trees and forests are no longer being logged on national forest lands, but this is simply not true. Numerous mature and old-growth logging projects are removing some of our best natural climate solutions from the landscape. We need a new nation rule NOW to ensure these climate forests remain standing to safeguard our future.
Oregon’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands contain some of the most carbon dense forests in the U.S. As numerous logging projects move forward on BLM lands, these mature and old-growth trees and forests must be protected alongside US Forest Service lands.