The House and Senate today each introduced legislation related to America’s national forests. This new legislation, The REPLANT Act, would remove the outdated cap on the Reforestation Trust Fund. Doing so would nearly quadruple the amount of money available annually to the U.S. Forest Service for reforestation across America’s national forests.

In response, American Forests issued the following statement from Jad Daley, president and chief executive officer:

“At this perilous moment in our history, people in the United States are turning to parks and other natural landscapes for physical, spiritual, economic and environmental renewal. But many of our national forests are suffering from climate-change induced wildfires, droughts, pests and other forest killers.

“The REPLANT Act would help make our national forests healthy again, largely by planting more trees in them. It’s the perfect complement to the Great American Outdoors Act, passed by the Senate in June and House last week, which is primarily about increasing the amount of public and private land that is protected.

“There’s already a backlog of 2.3 billion trees waiting to be planted in our national forests. The REPLANT Act would open the door to the trees that have been patiently waiting for years to get a prime spot in one of our national forests—as well as new trees that are already getting in line.

“The REPLANT Act would nearly triple the rate of reforesting our national forests—to more than 1.2 billion trees every decade. And, as a much-needed bonus, it would help improve the economy, to the tune of 49,000 new jobs every decade, all related to growing trees.

“Forests are the best nature-based solution to climate change, given the role they play in capturing carbon. Through The REPLANT Act, they would capture emissions equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from using more than 85 billion gallons of gas. But this solution is squandered when our forests are destroyed or degraded.”

For more information, read Jad Daley’s Medium post about this legislation here.