Our forests are the oldest tool around when it comes to tackling today’s climate crisis.
They, including Alaska’s old-growth Tongass National Forest, have been sequestering carbon since time immemorial. And it’s for that reason that, in March, Environment America and 50 other groups called on the Biden administration to protect carbon-rich forests like the Tongass in the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution — our nation’s climate action plan that’s integral to the Paris climate agreement. It’s currently being drafted by the administration to present to the United Nations later this year.
“The Tongass is often called the ‘crown jewel’ of our national forest system because it’s unique and irreplaceable,” said Ellen Montgomery, public lands campaign director with Environment America. “It’s obvious that the Biden administration should protect the Tongass as part of its plan to stop global warming.”
The Tongass holds 44 percent of all the sequestered carbon in the entire U.S. National Forest System.
Photo: The Tongass has been called “America’s Amazon” for the amount of carbon it sequesters. Credit: Lee Prince via Shutterstock