ON AUG. 16, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the most comprehensive climate legislation ever passed by Congress.

The historic legislation invests over $5 billion in forest-related provisions on both public and private lands, maximizing the power of our forests in the fight against climate change while simultaneously advancing equity. With $1.5 billion in funding for the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program — the largest-ever investment in the only federal program for expanding and maintaining the health of urban tree canopy — this legislation will transform communities by creating jobs, bolstering local economies and saving lives.

President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on Aug. 16 at the White House, surrounded by (from L to R) Sen. Joe Manchin, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Kathy Catsor.
Photo Credit: The White House / Twitter

But the wins don’t stop there: The Inflation Reduction Act also contains $450 million in voluntary incentives for historically disadvantaged private forestland owners; $700 million in Forest Legacy grants to permanently conserve and restore wildlife habitat and recreational areas; more than $2 billion in wildfire risk reduction funds; funding for wood products innovation and low-carbon built environment incentives; and much more. This legislation invests in science-based programs that work, helping to create a safer, healthier, cleaner place for us all to call home.

American Forests has been advocating for robust funding for these crucial programs for years; the organization’s leadership in coalitions, such as the Forest-Climate Working Group, Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, 1t.org US Chapter, Trees for Community Recovery and others, has helped bring a focus on forestry to the forefront of national policy conversations. There’s a lot of work to do to implement the Inflation Reduction Act, but this momentous passage marks a new day for forestry in the United States well worth celebrating.

The bill’s largest-ever investment in the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program will create and support local jobs while planting and caring for more than 23 million trees to cool our communities.
Photo Credit: Cokko Swain