July 1, 2021
In response to the United States House Committee on Appropriation’s decision today to advance legislation that would fund a wide range of natural resource programs in Fiscal Year 2022, including critical investments in climate action and community resilience, American Forests President and CEO Jad Daley released the following statement:
“American Forests enthusiastically agrees with the House Appropriations Committee on the crucial importance of Tree Equity and the power of urban trees to help address stark public health, economic and climate justice inequities in communities across the nation. The significant funding increase included in the committee-approved bill would make a huge difference in cities and towns where heat-related illnesses, energy demands and costs, and the very lives and livelihoods of our fellow Americans are impacted by extreme disparities in tree cover.
“The commitment to Urban and Community Forestry in this bill will save energy, save lives and bring climate benefits to a host of underserved communities. We want to thank Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Chellie Pingree (D-ME), subcommittee Ranking Member David Joyce (R-OH), full Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) for their outstanding work to advance climate equity in these at-risk communities. We are also deeply grateful for the work of many of their congressional colleagues, and for the particular leadership of Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA), to press for urgent action on this critical issue.
“As American Forests’ own recently-released Tree Equity Score data confirm, urban forestry investments are a natural climate solution that can be targeted for maximum impact where the need is greatest. We look forward to working with the House, Senate and Biden-Harris Administration on this and other legislation progresses to bring essential climate benefits and equity to cities and towns all across the country.”