In response to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’s passage in the House of Representatives today, American Forests Vice President of Urban Forest Policy Joel Pannell released the following statement:
We are mere steps away from changing the fabric of our nation for the better with today’s House passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which infuses the biggest investment ever in urban and community forests while also supporting large forested landscapes to deliver on the power of trees. Through this landmark legislation, Congress is scaling up federal programs with a proven history of success in our communities while empowering local decision making, fostering local career development, and bringing essential climate benefits to neighborhoods lacking adequate tree canopy.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 couples nature-based climate solutions like planting and protecting trees with other climate technologies to attack climate change holistically. The legislation invests in the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, a tried-and-true program that will provide grants to combat extreme heat in our cities, preventing heat-related illness and deaths while reducing energy costs for millions of Americans. And most importantly, that funding will go directly to local communities across the nation, into the neighborhoods that need it most.
The Inflation Reduction Act also invests in rural forests through a suite of programs that will reduce wildfire risk, enhance forest stewardship, and promote forest economies and employment. These comprehensive provisions will make a particular difference in rural communities, including those that lie within the wildland-urban interface.
American Forests thanks Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott for advancing the broad array of forest-climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as Representative Donald McEachin, Representative Nanette Barragan and other congressional leaders for their focused efforts to bolster the urban and community forestry commitments in the bill. We look forward to the administration enacting this momentous legislation as swiftly as possible so we can get to work on the ground with public and private partners to deliver the climate, health and economic benefits of trees to all communities.