Forests Play Key Role in Climate Resilience
Forests play a vital role in contributing to flood protection, making us more resilient to severe rain events, and mitigating the effects of climate change by removing carbon pollution from our atmosphere and storing it. They also offer habitat for wildlife that are on the move as their habitat changes with warming temperatures. Unfortunately, as we continue to fragment and convert our forests through incremental development, we reduce their natural ability to perform the critical ecological services that safeguard our health and wellbeing. That is why for over a decade, VNRC has been working to make forest health and integrity a priority issue for our elected officials.
Working with the Legislature this year, in partnership with our partners and members, we successfully passed H.857 – a bill to promote forest integrity. Now Act 171, the law takes several positive steps to promote our forest economy and the health and viability of our forests. In particular, it will elevate the importance of maintaining intact forests and wildlife habitat through local and regional planning, create incentives for landowners to donate forestland for public use, and identify strategies to help landowners plan for the long-term stewardship and ownership of their forests. VNRC will be working with government officials, lawmakers, municipalities and landowners to help implement the law. In doing so we’ll be creating a more resilient landscape for both people and wildlife, and enhancing one of our greatest natural assets to remove and store carbon pollution. Check out our Forest and Wildlife Program page for more on our work to maintain healthy intact forests.