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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation, including New Resources from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2022 Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a technique for the way the Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will address a reforestation backlog of four million acres on national forests and plant several billion trees on the next decade.

With new resources offered through President Bidens Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, coupled with support from state, local, and Tribal governments along with other partners, the Forest Service aims to remove the backlog on the next 10 years and develop the infrastructure, such as for example nurseries, to maintain with increasing needs.

The Forest Service has invested a lot more than $100 million in reforestation this season more than 3 x the investment in previous years because of the Repairing Existing Public Land with the addition of Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act permitted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These historic investments can help mitigate the impacts of climate change, rebuild in the aftermath of devastating wildfires and strengthen Americas forestlands.

Forests certainly are a powerful tool in the fight climate change, said Secretary Vilsack. Nurturing their natural regeneration and planting in areas with need is crucial to mitigating the worst ramifications of climate change while also making those forests more resilient to the threats they face from catastrophic wildfire, historic drought, disease outbreaks and pest infestation.

Prior to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and REPLANT, the Forest Service was only in a position to address about 6% of its post-wildfire reforestation needs. The REPLANT Act directs the Forest Service to plant greater than a billion trees on the next decade, removes a cap of $30 million and is currently expected to supply the agency a lot more resources each year to take action.

In accordance with Forest Service Chief Randy Moore, the reforestation strategy (PDF, 7 MB) will serve as a framework to comprehend reforestation needs, develop shared priorities with partners, expand reforestation and nursery capacity, and ensure the trees planted grow to aid healthy, resilient forests.

Our reforestation efforts on national forests only increase through strong partnerships with other federal agencies, tribes, state and local governments, communities and organizations, Moore said. We notice that successfully increasing reforestation on national forests would depend on these strong partnerships.

Secretary Vilsack and Chief Moore said that the strategy announced today can be an important first rung on the ladder in realizing the goals organized in President Bidens direction to scale up climate-smart reforestation and in addition supports the Forest Services 10-year strategy to cut wildfire risk, protect communities and improve forest health.

As well as the reforestation strategy, Secretary Vilsack announced 13 new USDA agency climate adaptation plans, which outline how each USDA agency will incorporate climate become their operations and decisions to aid communities, agriculture and forests nationwide.

Our climate adaptation plans represent a blueprint for how exactly we take into account the risks our changing climate is wearing those groups most susceptible to its effects Americas farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and rural communities, said Secretary Vilsack.

With nearly half the united states experiencing drought, record-breaking heat, and increasing development where fire-prone forests meet at-risk communities, Secretary Vilsack said that prioritizing climate in the way the USDA makes decisions will undoubtedly be critical in protecting people, resources and livelihoods.

In October 2021, USDA released its departmentwide Climate Adaptation Plan (PDF, 813 KB), which identified techniques climate change will impact USDAs mission and stakeholders, and developed cross-cutting actions to adjust to current and future ramifications of climate change.

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