US to plant more trees as climate change kills off forests
Share this @internewscast.com

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday announced plans to replant trees on millions of acres of burned and dead woodlands as officials struggle to counter the increasing toll on the nation’s forests from wildfires, insects and other manifestations of climate change.

Destructive fires in recent years that burned too hot for forests to quickly regrow have far outpaced the government’s capacity to replant trees. That’s created a backlog of 4.1 million acres (1.7 million hectares) in need of replanting, officials said.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said it will have to quadruple the number of tree seedlings produced by nurseries to get through the backlog and meet future needs. That comes after Congress last year passed bipartisan legislation directing the Forest Service to plant 1.2 billion trees over the next decade and after President Joe Biden in April ordered the agency to make the nation’s forests more resilient as the globe gets hotter.

Much of the administration’s broader agenda to tackle climate change remains stalled amid disagreement in Congress, where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority. That’s left officials to pursue a more piecemeal approach with incremental measures such as Monday’s announcement, while the administration considers whether to declare a climate emergency that could open the door to more aggressive executive branch actions.

“Our forests, rural communities, agriculture and economy are connected across a shared landscape and their existence is at stake,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement announcing the reforestation plan. “Only through bold, climate-smart actions … can we ensure their future.”

Almost 5.6 million acres have burned so far in the U.S. this year, putting 2022 on pace to match or exceed the record-setting 2015 fire season, when 10.1 million acres (4.1 million hectares) burned. Many forests regenerate naturally after fires, but if the blazes get too intense they can leave behind barren landscapes that linger for decades before the trees come back.

The Forest Service this year is spending more than $100 million on reforestation work. Spending is expected to further increase in coming years, to as much as $260 million annually, under the sweeping federal infrastructure bill approved last year, agency officials said.

Some timber industry supporters were critical of last year’s reforesting legislation as insufficient to turn the tide on the scale of the wildfire problem. They want more aggressive logging to thin stands that have become overgrown from years of suppressing fires.

Congress in 1980 created a reforestation trust that had previously capped funding — which came from tariffs on timber products — at $30 million annually. That’s proven far too little as high intensity fires increase.

Insects, disease and timber harvests also contribute to the amount of land that needs reforestation work, but the vast majority comes from fires. In the past five years alone more than 5 million acres were severely burned.

Share this @internewscast.com
You May Also Like
Geno Smith expected to start Seahawks' preseason opener

Geno Smith expected to start Seahawks’ preseason opener

RENTON, Wash. — Geno Smith is expected to get the start at…
Pakistani Taliban leader killed in Afghanistan, sources say

Pakistani Taliban leader killed in Afghanistan, sources say

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A top Pakistani militant who had a $3 million…
Kushner Memoir Reveals Cuomo Knew COVID-19 Would Ravage Nursing Homes – RedState

When Even Andrew Cuomo and Andrew Yang Raise the Alarm About Trump Raid, You Know It Stinks – RedState

We’ve been seeing a lot of reactions to the FBI raid on…
President Trump Responds to 'Third World' Biden Regime FBI Raid on Mar-A-Lago Home

President Trump Responds to ‘Third World’ Biden Regime FBI Raid on Mar-A-Lago Home

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 President Trump is responding to the…
Mets rotation more than me and Jacob deGrom

Mets rotation more than me and Jacob deGrom

Max Scherzer is determined to keep the team’s two highest profile starting…
Republican Rep. Scott Perry says that the FBI confiscated his personal cellphone one day after FBI agents raided former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

Trump ally Rep. Scott Perry says the FBI seized his cellphone one day after Mar-a-Lago raid

Republican Rep. Scott Perry says that the FBI confiscated his personal cellphone…
Birmingham city leaders work to put brakes on exhibition driving

Birmingham city leaders work to put brakes on exhibition driving

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — From drag racing to donuts and now a…
Golf picks and predictions for the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis

Golf picks and predictions for the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis

Commercial Content, 21+ MEMPHIS — Good luck trying to piece together all…