Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), and nearly 50 bipartisan lawmakers in the House reintroduced the Save Our Sequoias Act, legislation that allows for sound, science-based, targeted management to protect our nation’s iconic Giant Sequoias from wildfires and disease.
“CRES is proud to support the Save Our Sequoias Act, which will help protect one of America’s iconic species from wildfires by improving communication between government agencies and giving land managers the tools they need to create more resilient ecosystems,” said CRES President Heather Reams. “Thank you to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman, and all of the bipartisan co-sponsors for their continued leadership to enable better forest management that will protect our environment, reduce carbon emissions, decrease wildfire risk, and leave our planet better than we found it.”
Over the course of two years, catastrophic wildfires have destroyed nearly one-fifth of the world’s Giant Sequoias, one of the most fire-resilient tree species on the planet that were once considered virtually indestructible. The SOS Act will provide land managers with the emergency tools and resources needed to save these remaining ancient wonders from the unprecedented peril threatening their long-term survival.
The bill would:
- Enhance coordination between federal, state, tribal, and local land managers through shared stewardship agreements and the codification of the Giant Sequoia Lands Coalition, a partnership between the current Giant Sequoia managers.
- Create a Giant Sequoia Health and Resiliency Assessment to prioritize wildfire risk reduction treatments in the highest-risk groves and track the progress of scientific forest management activities.
- Declare an emergency to streamline and expedite environmental reviews and consultations while maintaining robust scientific analysis.
- Provide new authority to the National Park Foundation and National Forest Foundation to accept private donations to facilitate Giant Sequoia restoration and resiliency.
- Establish a comprehensive reforestation strategy to regenerate Giant Sequoias in areas destroyed by recent catastrophic wildfires.