Logging mature and old trees threatens U.S. climate goals

 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday signed a memorandum to clarify the U.S. Forest Service’s direction on climate policy. The memo, “Climate Resilience and Carbon Stewardship of America’s National Forests and Grasslands,” follows a recent White House executive order highlighting the importance of conserving mature and old-growth forests on federal lands as a climate solution. The memo, which lays out “actions to restore forests, improve resilience, and address the climate crisis”, falls short in meeting the ambition outlined in President Joe Biden’s order on old forests and trees. Secretary Vilsack acknowledges the role that older trees play in absorbing and storing carbon and supporting biodiversity. But he fails to outline a plan for his agency to protect mature and old-growth forests and trees from commercial logging. 

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