American Forests’ petition requests that President Obama place importance on forests in his Climate Change Action Plan, as well as take advantage of the social, environmental, and economic benefits trees provide communities.
Accessing new research, protecting critical areas, and introducing wildlife habitats in both urban and rural forests will help ensure a healthy future for generations to come.
To: President Barack Obama
As a supporter of American Forests, I would like to thank you for your efforts with the Climate Change Action Plan. Forests are an important part of not only mitigating climate change but helping to improve social, environmental, and economic conditions. Improvement in forestry management through policy is necessary to protecting ecosystems and maintaining the welfare of all life on Earth.
To continue your efforts to combat the effects of climate change, we must work to keep forestland for trees. Supporting federal programs for permanent forest conservation would help maximize the amount of forest retained. Benefits of maintaining and increasing our already existing forests include the decrease of dangerous CO2 emissions, the improvement of storm-water mitigation, the reduction of energy costs, and the enhancement of overall community well-being.
These efforts should also consist of an increase of urban forests. America’s urban forests store 68.8 million metric tons of CO2 annually. An additional 100 million trees would store another 1.6 million metric tons of CO2.
However, our forests face a variety of threats, including drought, pests, diseases, and wildfire, all of which are exacerbated by climate change. The U.S. Forest Service projects that more than 34 million acres of private forest could be developed by 2060. These forests store 7.57 billion tons of CO2 — equivalent to annual emissions from 1,989 coal plants. To accomplish your goal of a 17 percent climate pollution reduction by 2020, forests can play a major role in reducing harmful emissions and avoiding the scientist-predicted outcomes of climate change that threaten our very existence.
Please take the time to consider adding forestry as a priority in your climate change plan. The impact of protecting these forested areas would contribute significantly to the plan and help work toward a cleaner future for our next generations.
[Your name here]