A new report from the US Department of Agriculture (which oversees the Forest Service) confirms that America’s forests are trapping and storing billions of tons of carbon pollution – and increases in forest restoration have trapped emissions equivalent to taking 135 million cars off the highways.
This is excellent news from the Forest Service, and shows how effective forest restoration can be to reducing carbon pollution – on top of the many other benefits that our forests provide. As noted in The Wilderness Society’s analysis of the top carbon storing forests, US forests contain more carbon dioxide than the much more recognized tropical rainforests.
"America's forests play a critical role in combating climate change, collectively capturing and storing significant amounts of carbon that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Forest management on all lands can contribute significantly toward cooling a warming planet, and this new information will assist the public and policy makers as we work to address this significant issue."
The Wilderness Society is very encouraged by this positive stance from the Forest Service and the USDA, and look forward to working with them to identify the best practices to protect our forests and the clean air and carbon storage they provide.