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U.S. joins effort to plant one trillion trees in 15 years

President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week to formally establish an interagency council for the One Trillion Trees Initiative.

The project will promote planting over one trillion trees, conservation, and restoration across the United States and around the world. The World Economic Forum‘s plan hopes to unite governments, non-governmental organizations, individuals, and businesses globally in conservation and the planting to be completed by 2030.

“President Trump has boldly led on many conservation initiatives, including the One Trillion Trees Initiative,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in a statement. Bernhardt is named in the order as co-chair of the council, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.

On Earth Day and Arbor Day on April 22, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump planted a maple tree on the South Lawn of the White House. “On this special occasion, we are renewing our strong national commitment on conserving the wonder of God’s creation,” Trump said before the ceremony. “We’re also honoring our country’s heritage of conservation through the One Trillion Tree Initiative.”

“Planting one trillion trees will have a major benefit to our environment, as well as recreational and educational opportunities for many thousands of children and adults alike,” said EPA

Perdue said that the One Trillion Tree executive order signed by the president demonstrates the Trump administration’s commitment and leadership in ensuring that American forests are healthy and productive, such that they will continue to meet the needs of citizens and communities both today and in the future.

“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,” Perdue said. “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.”

According to the Department of the Interior, it was involved in planting over 58 million trees on federal lands across the country between 2017 and 2019. This figure includes over 17 million trees planted in the field of mine remediation by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. That is a record for any administration in recent decades.

The Department of the Interior says it expects to plant an additional 22 million trees by the end of this year.

–Wire services