Portland– In response to a public comment period on a proposed Conservation and Landscape Health rule, more than 349,000 members of the public and supporters of environmental advocacy groups, including Oregon Wild, called on the Bureau of Land Management to protect mature and old-growth trees and forests managed by the agency.
“Older forests in Oregon are a huge part of what makes this state so special,” said Victoria Wingell, Forests and Climate Campaigner for Oregon Wild. “The benefits to recreation, the climate, clean air and water, and wildlife are enormous. It’s appropriate that so many weighed in to call for protecting our forests. Now it’s up to the Bureau of Land Management, and the Biden administration, to act accordingly.”
On Earth Day 2022, President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling on the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to inventory and conserve mature and old growth forests on federal land. The BLM’s rulemaking, which includes a request for feedback on how the “BLM [might] use this rule to foster ecosystem resilience of old and mature forests on BLM lands” is a step forward in implementing the president’s directives on forest conservation.
Dozens of organizations, many of which are members of the Climate Forests Campaign submitted comments. In addition, social media viewers who learned about the issue through grassroots efforts on TikTok and Instagram submitted more than 160,000 comments.