U.S. President Joe Biden has chosen Earth Day on Friday to sign an executive order to protect some of the country’s largest and oldest trees.
The order the president is scheduled to sign in Washington State will require the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service to identify threats to older trees, such as wildfire and climate change, and develop policies to safeguard them.
Old trees are an ally in fighting climate change because they absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. Scientists say redwood forests are among the world’s most efficient means of removing and storing carbon dioxide. Thousands of U.S. redwoods have been destroyed in recent years.
Biden’s order will require federal land managers to define and count mature and old-growth forests nationwide within a year.
The measure is a safeguard designed to protest U.S. forests that have been decimated by fires, drought, and blight in recent years.
Some information in this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.