Senator Barrasso introduces bill to undermine Forest Service efforts to protect old-growth

Penn Butte IVM Medford BLM Oregon Wild

WASHINGTON  – U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bill on Wednesday that seeks to block the Biden administration’s proposed nationwide forest plan amendment to advance protections for old-growth forests.”

The national old-growth forest plan amendment proposed in December, which followed calls for strong protection for America’s oldest forests from more than 500,000 people, was celebrated as a critical first step toward safeguarding mature and old-growth trees across federal lands. These trees are uniquely suited to serve as buffers against climate change because they absorb and sequester higher levels of carbon dioxide than younger stands of trees. Older, larger trees are also more resistant to wildfires.

The Climate Forests Campaign has been calling for stronger protections for mature and old-growth trees and forests on federal lands as a measure against climate change since February 2022. 

In response to Senator Barrasso’s bill introduction, members of the coalition, including NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Environment America, Earthjustice, Old-Growth Forest Network,  Oregon Wild, and Standing Trees issued the following statement:

“We appreciate the Biden Administration’s response to public support for durable protections for our mature and old-growth trees and forests and we support the Forest Service’s goals of protecting America’s old-growth forests through a National Old-Growth Amendment. 

“Senator Barrasso’s press release and bill is a mischaracterization of the Forest Service’s proposed old-growth forest amendment. If allowed to proceed, the Barrasso bill would only serve to undermine sound science and further jeopardize the last remaining old-growth forests on federal lands.

“This bill is an attack on an important step toward protecting our climate-critical trees and forests. Old-growth forests will continue to be vulnerable to logging if nothing is done to protect them. Done right, the Forest Service’s proposed amendment will help ensure that they can remain standing for the benefit of future generations and the climate.

“Our organizations and our allies will continue our efforts to demonstrate strong public support for protections that ensure that mature and old-growth forests can continue to store carbon, provide clean water and support wildlife for centuries to come.”

Latest News

Join Our

Staying informed is the first step to becoming a public lands and native wildlife advocate.

Skip to content