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Biden order aims to retain protected from danger old-growth forests from wildfire

Biden order aims to retain protected from danger old-growth forests from wildfire

1 of 2In this photo provided by the National Park Service, fallen trees smolder following a wildfire at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument inside Arizona, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Winds are expected to intensify into and not here of the extremity of the week while firefighters battle blazes across the Southwest. Resources are tight, with every one other accompanied by blaze managers are scrambling to obtain crews on board. (Richard Ullmann/National Park Service via AP)1 of 2In this photo provided by the National Park Service, fallen trees smolder following a wildfire at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument inside Arizona, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Winds are expected to intensify into and not here of the extremity of the week while firefighters battle blazes across the Southwest. Resources are tight, with every one other accompanied by blaze managers are scrambling to obtain crews on board. (Richard Ullmann/National Park Service via AP)

SEATTLE (AP) — President Joe Biden is taking steps to reinstate national forests that have been devastated by wildfires, drought with every one other accompanied by blight, using an Earth Day pay someone a call to Seattle to sign an administrative order protecting some of the nation's largest with every one other accompanied by oldest trees.

Old-growth trees are answer buffers opposed to climate alter with every one other accompanied by provide crucial carbon sinks that absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide with every one other accompanied by other greenhouse gases that give to worldwide warming.

Biden's order directs confederate land managers to define with every one other accompanied by inventory mature with every one other accompanied by old-growth forests nationwide within a year. The order requires the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management with every one other accompanied by the National Park Service to identify threats to older trees, such while wildfire with every one other accompanied by climate change, with every one other accompanied by grow policies to safeguard them.

The order does not ban logging of mature or old-growth trees, the White House said.

By signing the order on Friday, Biden tin publicly reassert his environmentalist credentials at a hour dated when his management has been preoccupied by high lubricant with every one other accompanied by gasoline prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Gas costs have been a haul on Biden's popularity with every one other accompanied by created short-term political pressures going into this year's midterm elections, yet the Democratic president has been focused on wildfires that are intensifying since of climate change.

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Biden order aims to retain protected from danger old-growth forests from wildfire

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The measure is intended to safeguard national forests that been severely damaged by wildfires, drought with every one other accompanied by blight, including recent fires that killed thousands of colossus sequoias inside California. Redwood forests are among the world's most efficient at removing with every one other accompanied by storing carbon dioxide inside the air with every one other accompanied by provide critical natural environment for native wildlife with every one other accompanied by watersheds that present with farms with every one other accompanied by communities inside the West.

Blazes so great to kill trees on one occasion considered in effect fire-proof have alarmed land managers, environmentalists with every one other accompanied by saplingconifer lovers the world over — with every one other accompanied by demonstrated the burying place impacts of climate change. A warming planet that has created longer with every one other accompanied by hotter droughts, combined accompanied by a century of blaze suppression that choked forests accompanied by thick undergrowth, has fueled flames that extinguished trees dating to of long ago civilizations.

A older management official noted that forests absorb additional than 10% of U.S. yearly greenhouse gases, while too providing flood control, clean water, understandable air with every one other accompanied by a place of residence to wildlife. The official insisted on anonymity to talk over details of Biden's order earlier to it was made public.

Biden's ambitious climate agenda has been marred by setbacks, a year following he took office amid a flurry of climate-related promises. The president hosted a virtual summit on worldwide warming at the White House last Earth Day. He used the little while to almost dual the United States' goal for reducing greenhouse gasoline emissions, vaulting the country to the front lines inside the fight opposed to climate change.

A year later, his most sweeping proposals carry on accompanied by to exist stalled on Capitol Hill in malice of renewed warnings from scientists that the world is hurtling in the direction of a dangerous future marked by extreme heat, drought with every one other accompanied by weather.

In addition, Russia's war inside Ukraine has reshuffled the government of climate change, leading Biden to release lubricant from the nation's planned reserve with every one other accompanied by encourage additional domestic drilling inside hopes of lowering sky-high gasoline prices that are emptying American wallets.

While Biden is raising fuel affluence standards for vehicles with every one other accompanied by included greenish policies inside last year's bipartisan infrastructure law, the lack of greater forward movement casts a shadow over his following Earth Day while president.

Timber manufacturing representative Nick Smith said earlier to the order was made condition that loggers are worried it will add additional bureaucracy to a forest management framework by that hour dated unable to retain up accompanied by growing wildfires due to climate change.

That would undercut the Biden administration's goal of doubling the amount of logging with every one other accompanied by controlled burns over the following decade to narrow forests inside the tinder-dry West, said Smith, a spokesperson for the American Forest Resource Council, an Oregon-based manufacturing group.

"The confederate management has an acute need to lessen massive greenhouse gasoline emissions from severe wildfires, which tin only exist accomplished by actively managing our unhealthy with every one other accompanied by overstocked confederate forests," he said.

But former U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Jim Furnish said wildfire risks with every one other accompanied by climate alter would exist better addressed by removing smaller trees that tin fuel uncontrolled blazes, while leaving mature trees inside place.

For numerous years the Forest Service allowed older trees that are price additional to exist logged, to convey inside money for removal of smaller trees, Furnish said. But that's no indeed longer obligatory following Congress approved additional than $5 billion to lessen wildfire risks inside last year's infrastructure bill, he said. The rules and regulations includes money to hire 1,500 firefighters with every one other accompanied by build sure they be paid at least $15 an hour.

Timber sales from confederate forests nationwide additional than doubled over the past 20 years, while Republicans with every one other accompanied by Democrats have pushed additional aggressive thinning of stands to lessen small trees with every one other accompanied by vegetation that fuel wildfires.

Critics, including numerous forest scientists, speak officials are allowing removal of excessively numerous older trees that tin withstand fire.

A letter signed by 135 scientists called on Biden to retain protected from danger mature with every one other accompanied by old-growth forests while a critical climate solution.

"Older forests provide the most above-ground carbon storage potential on Earth, accompanied by mature forests with every one other accompanied by larger trees driving most accumulation of forest carbon inside the critical following few decades. Left in danger to logging, though, they cannot fulfill these vital functions,″ the scientists wrote Thursday. Former Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck with every one other accompanied by Norman Christensen, founding dean with every one other accompanied by professor emeritus at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, were among those signing the letter.

Protecting mature forests too "would place an important, extremely perceptible example for other greatest forest-holding nations to go nearer behind while they address climate alter threats,″ the scientists wrote.

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Associated Press author Matthew Brown inside Billings, Montana, contributed to this story.

Biden order aims to retain protected from danger old-growth forests from wildfire

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