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There are dozens of organizations in the U.S. that want to see healthy and climate-resilient forests from coast to coast. What sets American Forests apart is our deep expertise in forest restoration and conservation, connections with influential policy makers, our flexibility in partnership models and ability to bring together and find common ground among people who have diverse viewpoints.
That’s why, for example, we have a 145-year track record of getting bipartisan-supported laws and government programs created or amended — all so we and others can restore large forest landscapes and create urban forests.
Partnering with us today is more important than ever. We cannot solve climate change without fully using the power of forests to help capture and store carbon dioxide emissions generated by human activity. More than 14 percent of U.S. carbon emissions each year are absorbed by our forests, and there is potential to grow this natural carbon sink with actions like planting more trees. Yet it is also clear that climate change is weakening and even killing our forests with alarming speed.
Trees are also vital to the health and wealth of people. Across the U.S., they absorb 17.4 million tons of air pollutants, preventing 670,000 cases of asthma and other acute respiratory symptoms annually. In cities nationwide, trees prevent approximately 1,200 heat-related deaths and countless heat-related illnesses annually. This ability of trees to protect people from heat is significant, given that a 10-fold increase in heat-related deaths is expected in the Eastern U.S. by 2050.