What They Are Saying: Trillion Trees Act

February 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a legislative hearing on the Trillion Trees Act (U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark.).

H.R. 5859 establishes forest management, reforestation, and utilization practices which lead to the sequestration of greenhouse gases.

“Arkansas Farm Bureau is thankful for Congressman Westerman’s leadership in bringing forestry issues to the attention of Congress, the President and the American public. This bill will not only help our members with private forest land, but it will also benefit rural areas by ensuring federal lands are actively managed. This active management is critical for the long-term health of our forests and our rural communities.” – Arkansas Farm Bureau

“The building industry is poised to add 2.48 trillion square feet of new construction worldwide by 2060, doubling the amount of buildings we currently have on the planet. This is equivalent to constructing New York City every month for the next 40 years. As governments and the private sector seek to improve the environmental performance of buildings and reduce their carbon footprint, there is growing recognition that using wood from responsibly managed forests, which are manufactured utilizing carbon neutral biomass, is a part of the solution. Wood is the go-to material for builders in the United States for good reason. Wood products have the greatest embodied carbon potential, are easy to build with, and are the only major building material that is renewable. AWC thanks Congressman Westerman for his recognition in the bill that strong markets for wood products give landowners incentive to keep lands forested, thereby avoiding encroachment of development.” – Robert Glowinski, president and CEO, American Wood Council

“We applaud Rep. Bruce Westerman’s new bill, the Trillion Trees Act. Rep. Westerman is the only professional forester in the House of Representatives, and we share his passion for better management of our Federal forests. The Trillion Trees Act represents an opportunity to accelerate the restoration and reforestation of our Federal lands, which have suffered from decades of inadequate management. Most of the reforestation needs on our National Forests are the result of large fires, many of which were made more severe because we’ve failed to manage fire prone forests throughout the west. On many Eastern National Forests, mature forest stands are reaching maturity. Better management can store more carbon – both in the standing trees and in long-lasting wood products. We look forward to working with Rep. Westerman to ensure this bill allows better management of our Federal forests, while maximizing reforestation on the lands that need it.” – Chuck Roady, president, Federal Forest Resource Coalition

“We thank Congressman Westerman for his continued efforts to advanced policy which will promote active forest management. This bill also sends a strong message that well-managed forests are a ready resource for carbon capture to help with climate mitigation.” – National Wild Turkey Federation

“The American Forest Foundation, on behalf of our nation’s family forest owners, appreciates Representative Westerman’s leadership on the Trillion Trees Act, legislation designed to help the U.S. contribute to the global Trillion Trees Initiative. In introducing this legislation, Representative Westerman is highlighting the important role that forests and forest products play in mitigating climate change and other environmental challenges while supporting strong rural economies. Currently our forests and forest products offset roughly 15% of annual U.S. carbon emissions and estimates show that we can double that by planting more trees, better managing forests that have been neglected, protecting forests from conversion, and using more forest products. And to achieve this, doubling-engaging the nation’s 21 million family forest owners is key. AFF is particularly appreciative of the sections in the bill that promote climate mitigation activity on America’s family forests, which make up the largest portion of America’s forests. We are excited to work with Representative Westerman, and a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders, to continue to improve this and other policy solutions that are essential for unlocking the climate mitigation potential in family forests.”American Forest Foundation

“Counties with large tracts of national forest lands face unique environmental stewardship challenges from catastrophic fires. Healthy forests purify the air and water, are more resilient against the threat of wildfire and support local economies. The Trillion Trees Act would protect landscapes and watersheds through better forest management and reforestation. We thank Representative Westerman for introducing this legislation and call on Congress to pass it as soon as possible.”Matthew Chase, executive director, National Association of Counties

“Reducing carbon emissions will require innovation and change from all sides. Wood construction offers just one way to limit the carbon footprint of buildings. Wood stores carbon and has the lowest embodied energy of all major building materials, because it requires less energy from harvest to manufacturing, installation and disposal or recycling. Wood helps communities reach net zero targets faster. Strong markets for wood products encourage forest owners to keep their lands as forests and invest in practices to keep trees healthy. In fact, each year, the U.S. forest products industry plants nearly 700 million trees. Modern forestry standards ensure a continuous cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting. Harvesting and replanting increases forests’ carbon sink potential as the rate of sequestration is greater during early growth. We look forward to working with Congressman Westerman and the U.S. Congress on this important issue.” – Cees de Jager, president and CEO, Binational Softwood Lumber Council

“We applaud Congressman Westerman for his leadership in recognizing the role of forests and forest products as a natural climate solution. As the only forester in the House of Representatives, Congressman Westerman’s expertise and leadership is vital to ensuring that policy supports healthy markets, working forests and forests products – all three play an important role in climate mitigation, forest health and resilience. We look forward to working with Congressman Westerman to advance this important objective.”National Alliance of Forest Owners

“To address climate change, people around the world must make science-informed decisions to reduce this threat. Some of our best solutions will be putting our land to work. Increased investment in tree planting and managing our forests to optimize carbon uptake, managing forest fire emissions, and utilizing forest products for construction, packaging, and renewable energy gives us a win-win opportunity to embody carbon, and thereby reduce CO2. These solutions are currently available and could contribute more than a one-third reduction in carbon emissions in the next fifteen years. Congressman Westerman’s Trillion Trees Bill tackles tree planting and embodied carbon in the built environment, and we applaud him for his hard work on it.”Tim Brady, president, Boone and Crockett Club

###