Shaheen Helps Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Plant 1.2 Billion Trees on National Forests
**The REPLANT Act will help the U.S. Forest Service carry out reforestation projects to address the climate crisis and create nearly 49,000 jobs**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in introducing the Repairing Existing Public Land by Adding Necessary Trees (REPLANT) Act, legislation to help the U.S. Forest Service plant 1.2 billion trees on national forests and create nearly 49,000 jobs over the next ten years. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) introduced companion legislation in the House.
“America’s national forests are not only emblems of our country’s natural beauty, but they also help combat the climate crisis, serve as refuges to precious wildlife and support our outdoor recreation economy,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m pleased to join Senators Stabenow and Portman in introducing this commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will help address the serious issue of deforestation in our national forests, while also creating thousands of new jobs – a win-win outcome. I’ll continue to fight for congressional action to preserve our environment and public lands.”
Facing destructive wildfires to invasive pests and disease in recent years, national forests across the country are in desperate need of reforestation efforts. The need for reforestation has vastly outpaced the current funding available, which has contributed to a backlog of nearly 2 million acres in need of restoration. Each year, only 15 percent of the national forest tree planting backlog is addressed.
The REPLANT Act quadruples investments to support reforestation projects on national forests. The REPLANT Act will help reforest 4.1 million acres by planting 1.2 billion trees over the next 10 years. Planting these trees will help address the climate crisis, improve soil health and protect wildlife habitats for hunting and fishing. It will also strengthen our economy by creating thousands of new jobs. A report completed by American Forests found that the REPLANT Act would create nearly 49,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
The bill also directs the Forest Service to develop a 10-year plan and cost estimate to address the backlog of replanting needs on national forest land by 2031 and prioritizes land in need of reforestation due to natural disasters that are unlikely to naturally regrow on their own.
This legislation is supported by over 50 leading organizations and companies, including American Forests, Trust for Public Land, BPC Action, The Forest Stewards Guild, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, The Longleaf Alliance, Evangelical Environmental Network, Green Forests Work, Lyme Timber, REI, Salesforce and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.