Date: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the One Trillion Trees Interagency Council (Council), which will be responsible for coordinating the Federal government’s support of the global One Trillion Trees Initiative. The EO names U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt as co-chair of the Council, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“President Trump has boldly led on many conservation initiatives, including the One Trillion Trees Initiative,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The President’s Council will support and enhance the incredible efforts already taking place under the Trump Administration to better manage our forests and woodlands across our public lands.”
“The Trillion Tree Executive Order signed today by President Trump further demonstrates the Administration’s commitment and leadership in ensuring our national forests are healthy and productive so they can continue to meet the needs of citizens and communities, both now and into the future,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “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.”
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.
In December, 2018, President Trump signed EO 13855 “Promoting Active Management of America's Forests, Rangelands, and Other Federal Lands To Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk”, declaring that it is the policy of the United States to promote healthy and resilient forests, rangelands and other Federal lands by actively managing them through partnerships with States, Tribes, communities, non profit organizations and the private sector.
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.
On Earth Day this year before President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump planted a maple tree on the South Lawn of the White House, President Trump said, “On this special occasion, we are renewing our strong national commitment on conserving the wonder of God’s creation. We’re also honoring our country’s heritage of conservation through the One Trillion Tree Initiative, which is a very big deal.”
Between 2017-2019, Interior planted more than 58 million trees on federal lands across the country, including more than 17 million trees being planted by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement for active mine reclamation. In addition to the OSMRE, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service all support healthy forest management by planting trees to restore habitats, rehabilitate areas following wildfires and revitalize Tribal lands.
Interior expects to plant an additional 22 million trees by the end of this year.
The Council will work with Tribal, state and local officials to protect, grow and actively manage forests and woodlands on Federal lands and is established through December 31, 2030.