Earlier in July, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new strategy that will see over a billion trees planted in next decade to help tackle the country’s ‘reforestation backlog’ and fight back against climate change.
Already this year, The Forest Service has invested over $100 million into reforestation efforts. Compared to previous years, this is three times the investment - both a vast and encouraging improvement.
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In addition to tripling investment efforts, the US is also planning to remove the budget cap of $30 million, allowing them to invest more into the country's reforestation needs. It will also allow for more resources to be assigned to projects. It is hoped that these replanting efforts will help to rebuild from the impact of both wildfires and climate change.
Trees play a vital role in combating climate change, as they help to absorb carbon dioxide from the surrounding atmosphere via photosynthesis. As well as absorbing CO2, this process also helps to release oxygen back into the atmosphere.
Re-planting trees also has a variety of other benefits, especially in urban settings. Several studies have shown how trees can help to reduce ambient temperatures in urban settings, as much as up to 11 degrees celsius. They also help to keep soil nutrient rich, as well as helping to reduce pollution levels.