Sunlight filters through trees in a forest beside a West Virginia stream.
WV Wilderness Early morning sunlight filters though mist and forest along the Blackwater River as it flows through the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge in West Virginia. © Kent Mason

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The Nature Conservancy’s Statement on the House Trillion Trees Proposal

The following is a statement by Lynn Scarlett, Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy, regarding the Trillion Trees Act, introduced by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.):

“Answering the threat of climate change means using each and every tool available, and that includes nature. While it must work in concert with other efforts like reducing carbon emissions and transitioning to clean energy, natural climate solutions like reforestation have enormous potential to sequester carbon while also protecting biodiversity, cleaning air and water and creating jobs. 

“We commend Rep. Westerman and his fellow cosponsors for working to amplify the role of forests in the country’s climate change response. The proposal includes encouraging provisions to help expand federal, state and local tree-planting efforts, specifically expanding forest carbon stocks and increasing investments in reforestation and workforce development, however there are still several concerning provisions that need improvement.  

“We have specific concerns about the forest management provisions that would circumvent environmental analysis on public lands and the impact that could have on climate and forest ecosystem outcomes. In addition, the builders tax credit provision lacks environmental safeguards to ensure the protection of forest ecosystem carbon associated with any new demand for wood products. We look forward to working with House lawmakers to address these concerns and improve other provisions so the country can move quickly on the legislation's commendable, achievable and necessary climate goals.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.