To: The Honorable John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

The Honorable Ali Zaidi, Assistant to the President & National Climate Advisor
The Honorable John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture
The Honorable Deb Haaland, United States Secretary of the Interior

Re: Mature Forests Must be Protected as a Climate Solution

Date: November 3rd, 2022

Dear Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry,

We strongly support the Biden Administration’s commitments to the Paris agreement, and especially to the agreement’s emphasis on conserving forest carbon sinks. One of the most cost-effective and essential near-term climate solutions the United States can deploy to conserve and expand these sinks is to establish durable protections for mature forests and trees on federal lands from the threat of logging. President Biden clearly recognized this need when he announced Executive Order 14072 to protect mature and old-growth forests, both foreign and domestic. Now, as the U.S. delegation travels to Egypt to lead the world on climate action, it is time to ensure this potential is fully realized.

Conserving mature and old-growth forests and trees as a climate strategy represents a win-win opportunity. No human-made technology can match these forests for their ability to remove and store climate destroying carbon pollution from the atmosphere. Logging them rapidly releases much of that stored carbon whereas conserving them preserves that stored carbon and ongoing sequestration abilities. Conservation also provides a host of co-benefits. It helps buffer key ecosystems from continued biodiversity loss, it will protect critical drinking watersheds for communities across the country, and it will allow for continued quality outdoor recreation experiences for all Americans.

If the United States wants to be a credible leader on global forest conservation and deliver on its commitments to halt forest destruction made last year in Glasgow, Scotland, we need to take urgent action to protect the most climate-critical forests at home. This means a durable, bright-line rule on future administrations that protects mature and old-growth forests and trees on federal lands from logging.

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the influx of federal funds towards new and innovative climate action, it is essential that we invest in natural climate solutions alongside technological ones. The IRA included billions of dollars for forest management, on top of the billions allocated by last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. A regulation protecting mature forests and trees from logging is necessary to safeguard these essential natural resources and reduce the potential for conflict and controversy as this funding is implemented.

Thank you for your continued climate leadership and emphasis on using nature to combat the climate and biodiversity crises.


1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations
350 Eugene
350 Humboldt
350 PDX
350 Sacramento
350 Salem, Oregon
350 Seattle
350 Washington County
350 Wenatchee
Alaska Wilderness League
American River Natural History Association
Applegate Siskiyou Alliance
Battle Creek Alliance & Defiance Canyon
Raptor Rescue
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project
California Environmental Voters
California Wilderness Coalition
Californians for Western Wilderness
Climate Writers
Coalition To Protect America's National Parks
Coast Range Association
Colorado Native Plant Society
Conservation Northwest
Creation Justice Ministries
Deer Creek Valley Natural Resources Conservation Association
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Earth Law Center
Emergency Conservation Committee - PNW
Endangered Species Coalition
Environment America
Environmental Action
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Environmental Protection Information Center
Evergreen Action
Extinction Rebellion Portland
Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology (FUSEE)
Forest Keeper
Forest Unlimited
Forest Web
Foundation Earth
Friends of Big Ivy
I Heart Pisgah
Inland Ocean Coalition
Interfaith EarthKeepers
Interfaith Power & Light
John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute
Keep the Woods
Kentucky Heartwood
Kettle Range Conservation Group
Kitsap Environmental Coalition
Klamath Forest Alliance
KS Wild
League of Conservation Voters
Lorax Coalition
Los Padres ForestWatch
Mason County Climate Justice
Massachusetts Forest Watch
Metro Climate Action Team
National Parks Conservation Association
Natural Resources Council of Maine
Natural Resources Law
New Jersey Forest Watch
New Jersey Highlands Coalition
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Northcoast Environmental Center
Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
Standing Trees
Sunrise Movement PDX
Sustainable Rogue Valley
The Forest Advocate
The Ocean Project
Thurston Climate Action Team
Transformative Wealth Management, LLC
Treekeepers of Washington County (Oregon)
Umpqua Natural Leadership Science Hub
Umpqua Watersheds
United Plant Savers
Water League
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Center for Biological Diversity
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Chattooga Conservancy
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Gallatin Wildlife Association
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Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Cascade-Volcanoes Chapter
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Central Oregon Bitterbrush Broads Chapter
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Greater Wasatch Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, North Olympic Peninsula
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Northern San Juan Chapter
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Polly Dyer Seattle Broads
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, South San Juan Chapter
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Willamette Valley Broadband
Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Yavapai-Prescott Broadband
Green Snohomish
Healthy Ocean Coalition
High Country Conservation Advocates
Highlands Nature Sanctuary, dba Arc of Appalachia
Ohio Environmental Council
Old-Growth Forest Network
Olympic Climate Action
Olympic Forest Coalition
Olympic Park Advocates
Oregon Wild
Our Revolution Michigan
Partnership for Policy Integrity
Peoples Voice on Climate
Presbyterians for Earth Care
Prince George's Sierra Club
Progressive Democrats of America - Oregon Chapter
Quiet Use Coalition
Rachel Carson Council
RESTORE: The North Woods
Rocky Mountain Wild
SAFE Alternatives for our Forest Environment
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
Santa Fe Forest Coalition
Sierra Club
Soda Mountain Wilderness Council
South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership
Southern Environmental Law Center
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
Waterway Advocates
Whatcom Million Trees Project
Wild Heritage
Wild Orca
Wild Watershed
WildEarth Guardians
Wilderness Workshop
Wildlands Network
Williams Community Forest Project
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Yellowstone to Uintas Connection