To help revitalize millions of acres of burned and damaged forests across the American West, the U.S. Department of Agriculture aims to plant more than one billion trees over the next decade.
Wildfires and other issues have devastated U.S. woodlands in recent years, and Forest Service arborists can’t keep up with replanting lost trees.
Now, with more federal resources and funding via the REPLANT Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the USDA's Forest Service plans to close the gap.
“Forests are a powerful tool in the fight against climate change,” says Tom Vilsack, the U.S. agriculture secretary, in a statement announcing the initiative this week.
Researchers are warning that climate change will likely only increase the intensity and frequency of wildfires.
Those conditions, exacerbated by climate change, can be particularly tough on young trees, so conservation experts cautioned that the Forest Service will need to be strategic with its reforestation efforts.
“There are some places that the climate has already changed enough that it makes the probability of successfully reestablishing trees pretty low. »