In January 2020, President Trump announced the United States would join World Economic Forum's One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious global effort to grow and conserve one trillion trees worldwide by 2030. He made good on that announcement in October and established the One Trillion Trees Interagency Council, which will be responsible for coordinating the federal government’s support of the global One Trillion Trees Initiative. You can read the Executive Order (EO) here: http://bit.ly/executive-order-trees.

In it, Trump named the U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt as co-chair of the council, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

The EO directs the Council to develop, coordinate and promote the Federal government’s interactions with the One Trillion Trees Initiative to promote tree growing, conservation, restoration and coordination with key stakeholders. In addition to the two co-chairs, the EO designates 21 other members of the Council to develop and implement a strategy to facilitate growth, restoration and conservation of trees.

“When I was growing up on my family farm, my father always taught me to appreciate that ‘when it comes to the land, we want to leave it better than we found it.’ The President’s Executive Order will do just that — leave it better than we found it and help bolster the 193 million acres of National Forest System lands to promote recreation, enjoyment, and sustainable economic prosperity across broad sectors of the rural economy,” Perdue said in a statement released by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The council is independent of the broader One Trillion Trees Initiative, according to Craig Regelbrugge, senior VP of public policy and government relations at AmericanHort.

The global initiative (www.1t.org) and the U.S. chapter (us.1t.org) has the same goal: to promote a nature-based solution to climate change and “to connect, empower and mobilize a global reforestation community to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees globally by 2030.”

There are 19 governmental agencies named in the EO that will be part of the council, so my hope is that this initiative doesn’t get bogged down in red tape or swept aside by partisan politics. But this statement helps ease my skepticism:

“Colleagues from both sides of the aisle are lending their support to the Trillion Trees Act, demonstrating its tremendous potential to combat our changing climate, conserve our natural resources, and facilitate growth in environments nationwide,” says U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio). “In Ohio’s 15th District alone, the President’s executive order will make a difference for the Wayne National Forest, and a number of state parks including the Lake Alma State Park, Hocking Hills and Old Man’s Cave. These forests and woodlands produce recreational opportunities for every family and putting these resources to work in the effort to remove carbon from our atmosphere will deliver positive economic and social benefits for generations to come.”

This initiative already has some nursery industry support, and I’ll bring you those details in an upcoming issue.

krodda@gie.net

What do you think about this EO? How would you like to get involved? I’d love to hear from you.