Last year the Stand4Forests movement was launched, laying out a bold vision for forest protection in the US endorsed by organizations, elected officials, and scientists from around the country. The Stand4Forests movement calls for a new vision of forest protection.
In Georgia, residents and lawmakers are leading the nation in taking the first powerful steps towards making the Stand4Forests vision a reality.
In early 2019, GA State Senator Lester Jackson introduced the Stand4Forests resolution, SR108.
It’s been co-sponsored by at least 6 other State Senators and when the 2019-2020 legislative session begins again, we could see SR 108 going to a vote! That means that now – this year – is the time to call on all of our GA Senators to become forest champions.
2020 could be the year that Georgia becomes the first state to officially Stand4Forests.
The climate crisis is urgent — communities, the planet, and our very existence are threatened. The state of Georgia is no exception. Climate science shows that Southeastern US cities, including those in Georgia, are particularly vulnerable to climate change, with major expected impacts to infrastructure and human health.
To have a fighting chance, we must immediately scale up forest protection, rewild and restore degraded forests, reduce consumption, and transition to truly clean, renewable energy.
But at a time when we should be protecting forests, the US is cutting down our own forests at one of the highest rates in the world, creating a climate emergency.
Georgia is one of the states hardest hit by industrial logging and the expansion of the wood pellet industry. The Georgia Biomass facility, outside of Waycross, is one of the largest wood pellet plants in the world. This pellet industry typically uses whole trees and is increasing carbon emissions and polluting communities. Additionally, wood pellet plants are typically located in environmental justice communities already burdened with other polluting industries.
When left standing, forests provide billions in economic value to our state and local communities. Georgia’s forests, when protected, can buffer communities from the damage caused by extreme weather events, reduce costs of waste and water treatment, provide habitat for pollinators, and support an already robust wildlife-related recreation economy.
We now must ask ourselves – how will we protect our valuable forests? What can we gain if we do? And what do we have to lose if we do not protect our forests?
On the International Day of Forests, March 21st, we’re calling Georgia State Senators and asking them to Stand4Forests.
By joining the growing list of supporters, Georgia policymakers who endorse the Stand4Forests platform will be taking a stand for principles any American can get behind: clean air and water, protection from flooding and storms, jobs in the growing green economy, biodiversity, and the charge to solve the climate crisis.