Environment America launches public outreach campaign to protect older forests

Initiative to gather support for federal protections of old-growth, mature trees and forests


Tony Dynek USDA Forest Service | Public Domain
View of forest flora while searching for a land boundary corner location in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. USDA Forest Service photo by Tony Dynek.

WASHINGTON – Campaign staff with Environment America will knock on doors this summer in neighborhoods across the country to talk about threats to our oldest forests and encourage people to get involved in an upcoming comment period on a proposed national forest plan amendment.

 The United States Forest Service announced the amendment process in December, potentially signaling a major shift in the way it will manage old-growth trees and forests. The agency is expected to release draft amendment language and options, known as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), this summer. Old-growth and mature forests provide homes for thousands of wildlife species, recreational opportunities for millions of visitors and absorb and store massive amounts of carbon.

“Our older forests are our most precious forests. These trees have been standing for longer than most people have been alive and are crucial allies in the fight against climate change,” said Environment America’s Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery. “But more than 50 million acres of mature and old-growth forests on federal lands across the country are not protected from logging. We’ll be talking to people across the country this summer to build support to change that.”

The proposed national forest plan amendment could protect the last remaining old-growth trees in national forests by adding new safeguards against logging. This December announcement is a step toward fulfilling the promise of President Joe Biden’s April 2022 Executive Order, which directed the Departments of Agriculture to examine threats to mature and old-growth forests on federal lands and develop policies to protect them. 


Ellen Montgomery

Director, Public Lands Campaign, Environment America

Ellen runs campaigns to protect America's beautiful places, from local beachfronts to remote mountain peaks. Prior to her current role, Ellen worked as the organizing director for Environment America’s Climate Defenders campaign. Ellen lives in Denver, where she likes to hike in Colorado's mountains.

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