Four ways the bipartisan infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation bill will deliver forests for climate

By Jad Daley, American Forests president and chief executive officer

Sometimes our dreams come true in unexpected forms. After almost 15 years of building toward a big federal policy move on forests for climate, we have an administration that is proposing the climate-smartest forest strategy yet, and a Congress that has proposed $50 billion — yes, with a “b” — for everything from wildfire resilience to vast reforestation initiatives in landscapes and cities alike. …

“Our cities are being cooked by urban heat islands that turn up the temperature for people who live in oven-like areas dominated by pavement and lacking trees, parks, and other natural cooling features.”

By Jad Daley, American Forests’ President and CEO

When it recently hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit in Seattle, an all-time record for this famously cool city, we effectively entered a new era of extreme heat, with serious implications. How serious? Recent research led by Duke University estimates heat already causes 12,000 premature deaths in America annually, which could increase to nearly 100,000 per year under the worst climate change scenarios.

So how do we keep everyone cool and safe as killer heat waves become the norm?

We can start by not making it even hotter. Our cities are being cooked by…

The Climate Stewardship Act proposes ramping up natural climate solutions — from farms to forests to wetlands — to their full potential.

By Jad Daley, American Forests’ President and CEO

The clock is ticking on climate change. We need to scale every possible solution, including natural carbon capture in our trees and forests. That’s why today’s introduction of the Climate Stewardship Act in the United States Congress is so significant. The Climate Stewardship Act proposes ramping up natural climate solutions — from farms to forests to wetlands — to their full potential. Of critical importance, this includes putting unprecedented investment into planting Tree Equity in cities so that our push for natural climate solutions also advances environmental justice and health equity.

To advance Tree Equity and help slow climate change, we need to plant 31.4 million trees annually in U.S. urban areas.

By Ian Leahy, American Forests’ Vice President of Urban Forestry

The urban forestry field has long operated with limited means to deliver the benefits of forests to urban America. There is no lack of earnestness, passion and even transformative sophistication amongst people in the public, private and nonprofit sectors who work on urban forests. But they — myself included — rarely speak about how much investment is actually needed. …

By Brian Kittler, American Forests’ Senior Director of Forest Restoration

As the world barrels towards 1.5 degrees of planetary warming, healthy forests are coming into laser focus as the best nature-based solution for slowing climate change. In the United States, the opportunity to create healthy forests is enormous. The Reforestation Hub shows that 133 million acres across the country could be reforested.

But as governments, companies and others gear up for mass reforestation, through such initiatives as the U.S. Chapter that is led by my organization and World Economic Forum, a big question remains: Where exactly will we get…

By Eric Sprague, Vice President of Forest Restoration for American Forests

White oaks are known as the “kings” of eastern forests for their huge stature, abundance, and provision of natural benefits like wildlife habitat. But the future of this important species is at risk. There is an almost complete absence of young white oaks in woodlands along the East Coast. Recent analysis by the White Oak Initiative shows that almost 90% of mature white oak acres in the east have no oak saplings present.

Young white oaks are rapidly declining for a variety of reasons, including the suppression of natural…

The REPLANT Act would protect whitebark pine, a keystone high-elevation tree species
By Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests

You might have seen the alarming news that disease and climate change have so decimated whitebark pine that this iconic tree species is now proposed for inclusion on the federal Threatened and Endangered Species list. We can save the whitebark pine. And we must. This should start with one big policy move: passing the bipartisan REPLANT Act to accelerate replanting of whitebark pine on America’s national forests.

To understand the urgency of this solution, we must first understand the…

It’s time to ensure that all people benefit from what trees offer to the world
By Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests

Today marks a step toward climate justice. American Forests launched Tree Equity Score, the first-ever effort to map tree cover against such critical variables as race, age, income and heat risk in every urban area of the United States. Extreme heat, in particular, kills more people in our country each year than any other type of extreme weather does, and these risks are worsening rapidly with climate change.

Tree Equity Score shows where we are and…

The rules of the game have changed
By American Forests Vice President of Forest Restoration Eric Sprague

Tree planting is often the most recognizable form of reforestation. But forests have their own way to recover after severe wildfires and other incidents that result in tree loss. It’s called natural regeneration. Wind and wildlife carry tree seeds to disturbed areas, where the seeds germinate and eventually grow a new forest. Oaks and some other trees can even resprout from their roots if the trunk dies, the fresh shoots taking advantage of newly opened habitat. Across the U.S., …

Trees are life-saving infrastructure
By Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests

With 2020 on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, we get daily reminders of America’s greatest climate change threat: extreme heat. Extreme heat generally kills more people in our country each year than any other type of extreme weather, and sickens many times more. We must build heat resilient communities that equitably protect every neighborhood, including natural cooling from trees.

We are far from this goal today. Lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color are, on average, much hotter due to systemic inequities that include…

American Forests

American Forests inspires and advances the restoration of forests, which are essential to life.

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