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Press Release

What They Are Saying: The Save Our Sequoias Act

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On Arbor Day 2023, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) joined Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and a bipartisan group of more than 50 members in re-introducing the Save Our Sequoias (SOS) Act. This week, the bill passed out of committee by voice vote. 

"This land’s Giant Sequoias are precious to America’s outfitters. They are essential stops on any trip through the Sierra Nevadas, and as one California outfitter put it, 'we don’t want to lose any more in the next mega-fire.' America Outdoors is honored to support this legislation." - Aaron Bannon, executive director, America Outdoors

"There is no climate policy that is as unifying as planting more trees and properly managing our beautiful forests. ACC Action applauds Speaker McCarthy and Representative Peters for crossing the aisle to protect California's sequoia groves for future generations." - Christopher Barnard, vice president of external affairs, American Conservation Coalition Action

"America’s treasured Giant Sequoia trees are a casualty of the nation's forest health and wildfire crisis. Our public lands managers need every tool in the toolbox to save these iconic trees, and to restore and health and resiliency of our federally-managed forests. The Save Our Sequoias Act is a bipartisan solution that enables federal agencies to work together, leverage the best available science, and to quickly implement effective treatments where they are desperately needed. We encourage Congress to advance this solution before we lose more Giant Sequoia trees to severe wildfire." - Travis Joseph, president and CEO, American Forest Resource Council

"Prior to spending the last 20 years representing the timber industry, I was a Merchant Marine Officer for 15 years. The SOS acronym stood for Save Our Ship as a plea when a ship was imperiled and sinking. I’ve surveyed 3 million acres of charred California forest lands. The SOS (Save Our Sequoias) legislation is an opportunity to protect and rescue the magnificent sequoias from disaster, and preserve these iconic national treasurers." - Scott Dane, executive director, American Loggers Council

"The wood products industry fully supports congressional action to protect these national treasures. The loss of one-fifth of the world’s Giant Sequoias in just two years is tragic, and it should be a call to action to address both wildfire destruction and climate change in this country. Active forest management on federal lands, such as is proposed in this bill, will be critical to reducing wildfire risk and ultimately protecting these magnificent trees and surrounding private lands and property." - Jackson Morrill, president and CEO, American Wood Council

"Giant Sequoias are an iconic species that is representative of our nation’s rich and majestic biodiversity. We proudly support this bipartisan effort targeting the conservation of Giant Sequoia groves and insuring the long-term viability of this treasured natural resource." - Dan Forster, vice president and chief conservation officer, Archery Trade Association

"Through the Save Our Sequoias Act, you are showing your commitment to working across the aisle for the betterment of one of America’s true forestry crown jewels: the 70 Giant Sequoia groves in California. We wholeheartedly support the bill and applaud your efforts to set politics aside and do what is best for our forest resources. We hope that this example can finally be the much-needed breakthrough in forest policy and serve as a pathway to better federal forest management across the United States." - American Wildlife Conservation Partners

"The severity of the growing wildfire threat in the U.S. deserves an equally serious response, and that means addressing and closing the gaps in our mitigation approach. The SOS Act would help do just that, leading to better use of existing resilience capabilities and protecting an invaluable natural resource." - Natalie Enclade, executive director, BuildStrong Coalition

"As brothers and sisters, Republicans and Democrats, we must care, together, for our one common home. The Save Our Sequoias Act is a great example of the 'better kind of politics' the Holy Father was advocating." - California Catholic Conference and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 

"Giant Sequoias are the largest trees on Earth. California is the home of these ancient giants that exist in groves across 37,000 acres of forested land within the state. In recent years nearly one-fifth of all Giant Sequoias have been destroyed by catastrophic wildfires. The Save Our Sequoias Act provides expedited, common sense approaches to mitigate the threat of wildfires in our state’s Giant Sequoia groves and adjacent forested lands. Specifically, this bill will allow for hazard tree removal, application of prescribed fire and various other protection projects to be implemented without undue bureaucratic delays. Reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire in our forests is to the benefit of every Californian. The California Cattlemen’s Association is pleased to support the SOS Act and thanks Representatives McCarthy and Peters for their leadership in introducing this legislation." - Sheila Bowen, vice president, California's Cattlemen's Association

"California continues to face significant accumulation of hazardous fuels. The bipartisan Save our Sequoias Act provides commonsense policy adjustments that will allow for enhanced coordination, expedited emergency procedures, informed and prioritized implementation, and a better reforestation strategy. We need to do everything we can within our control to boost forest management, not only for the health and resilience of our forestlands, but also for our rural economies and public safety of our citizens." - Jamie Johansson, president, California Farm Bureau

"Congressman Peters’ Save Our Sequoias Act would provide much-needed support to address the growing risk of wildfires threatening some of the most iconic forest landscapes in the United States. The giant sequoias are not only majestic and awe-inspiring — they are also carbon sequestering powerhouses, and protecting them is essential to combat climate change while bolstering local resilience to wildfires and other climate impacts." - Nat Keohane, president, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

"Building strong resilience to wildfires will take a smart and modern approach that is proposed in the Save Our Sequoias Act. This includes public-private partnerships, streamlining permitting, and ensuring better resource coordination to accelerate science-based treatments —consequently reducing wildfire risks for the giant Sequoias. We appreciate the work of Leader McCarthy, Chairman Westerman, and Rep. Peters on this vital legislation, and hope it provokes the establishment of a sustainable model for addressing wildfires in communities across the American west." - Marty Durbin, senior vice president for policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"Protecting old-growth forests like the giant sequoias is critical to combating climate change and ensuring our forests continue to sequester carbon rather than releasing it. Citizens' Climate Lobby applauds Congressman Peters and Speaker McCarthy for their leadership on this issue. We are pleased to see strong bipartisan support for a comprehensive plan to address the increased wildfire and climate threat to California's treasured giant sequoias." - Jennifer Tyler, senior director of government affairs, Citizens' Climate Lobby

"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. 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." - Heather Reams, president, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

"While the forests on and adjacent to the Colville Reservation do not include giant sequoias, the Colville Reservation is home to some large diameter species, specifically ponderosa pine, which the Colville Tribes values highly because of their size and fire resiliency. The Colville Tribes supports measures like the Save Our Sequoias Act that would provide tribes with the ability to carry out more management and more flexible management of landscapes to protect large diameter stands." - Jarred-Michael Erickson, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation 

"ConservAmerica applauds Speaker McCarthy and Rep. Peters for reintroducing the Save Our Sequoias Act. California’s Giant Sequoias are a natural marvel due to their size, lifespans, and unique scientific and ecological properties. Unfortunately, their health and resiliency are threatened by wildfire, insects, and drought. The Save Our Sequoias Act will give land managers the tools and resources they need to protect this valued species by addressing funding needs; enhancing cooperative agreements with state, local, and tribal agencies; streamlining the approval processes associated with protective and restorative projects; and by establishing much needed hazardous fuels reduction and reforestation programs and strategies. We urge the legislation’s swift consideration and passage." - ConservAmerica

"Accelerating science-based conservation practices to preserve California’s Giant Sequoias will have a tremendous impact on water and habitat quality in the Pacific Flyway. After years of prolonged and intense drought, anything we can do to make our landscape more resilient will also benefit waterfowl, wildlife and surrounding communities. DU thanks Speaker McCarthy and Representative Peters for leading this bipartisan effort." - Karen Waldrop, chief conservation officer, Ducks Unlimited

"Enviva is proud to support the Save Our Sequoias (SOS) Act to protect and reforest the iconic Sequoia groves of California. As a company, we are committed to helping restore critical, threatened, and declining forest types and to supporting legislative measures aimed at conservation, as outlined in Enviva’s Responsible Sourcing Policy. The devastating impacts of wildfire risk in California are evident and we encourage the use of science-based forest management practices to mitigate additional forest loss, protecting critical habitat and providing a myriad of benefits to California’s ecosystems." - Thomas Meth, president and CEO, Enviva 

"The Giant Sequoias are one of the most spectacular examples of the majesty of God’s creation. They are also among the most at threat, with one-fifth wiped out by wildfire in the last two years alone. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, 'a grove of giant redwood or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a great and beautiful cathedral.' The Evangelical Environmental Network thanks House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-52) and Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4) for their leadership introducing the bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act. We applaud the smart and swift action of the SOS Act that will ensure the Giant Sequoias will continue to inspire awe and wonder in generations to come." - Jessica Moerman, vice president for science and policy, Evangelical Environmental Network

"The SOS Act shows there is bipartisan support for scientifically sound management to help protect forests from the ravages of wildfire. We need to be treating more acres more quickly if we are going to reverse the forest health and wildfire crisis on our Federal lands." - Bill Imbergamo, executive director, Federal Forest Resource Coalition

"As a national organization representing America’s family forest landowners, the Forest Landowners Association applauds Speaker McCarthy and Congressman Peters on introducing the Save Our Sequoias Act. Private landowners have long recognized that active management is critical for healthy and resilient forest ecosystems. This bipartisan bill provides the tools and resources necessary to proactively manage against wildfire, which is the greatest threat to our nation’s Giant Sequoia groves." - Scott Jones, CEO, Forest Landowners Association 

"You don’t save the Giant Sequoias by hugging all the trees around them. If we’ve learned anything from the catastrophic wildfires over the past several years is that once they start, they are nearly impossible to stop. Wildfires do not respect property lines, homes, wildlife habitats, or iconic trees like the Giant Sequoias. They destroy everything in their path until the fuel, dead and dying trees, that feeds them is consumed by the conflagration. Congressman Westerman’s legislation Save Our Sequoias Act is a commonsense approach that expedites the treatment of forestlands across ownerships to improve forest health and resiliency." - Tim O’Hara, vice president of government affairs, Forest Resources Association

"Fresno County strongly supports the Save our Sequoias Act and appreciates the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Representative Scott Peters. Fresno and Tulare counties are home to the 2 largest trees in the world (The nation’s Christmas tree and the General Sherman tree). These treasures cannot be replaced and preserving our giant Sequoias allows for future generations to be amazed at God’s hand at work. We call on all Members of Congress to endorse this bipartisan legislation." - Nathan Magsig, supervisor, Fresno County Board of Supervisors 

"Grassroots Wildland Firefighters support the SOS Act as an important piece of legislation needed to address the potential irreplaceable loss of giant sequoias due to the threat of wildfire. Grassroots recognize and are advocating for streamlined tools that allow for the proper land management that will positively increase the pace and scale of the removal of hazardous fuels buildup within and surrounding California’s legacy giant sequoia groves." - Luke Mayfield, president, Grassroots Wildland Firefighters

"The Kern County Board of Supervisors fully endorses the SOS Act and will continue to support this important legislation until it becomes law." - Jeff Flores, chairman, Kern County Board of Supervisors

"The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has often called on Congress to pass legislation that includes Tribal Nations in land management decisions and incorporates tribal co-management principles and practices, which is why NCAI supports the 'Save Our Sequoias Act' and the co-management opportunities it provides to the Tule River Indian Tribe. NCAI continues to urge Congress to find opportunities for Tribal Nations to exercise more self-determination and sovereignty over the management of lands, waters, and natural resources." - Larry Wright Jr., executive director, National Congress of American Indians

"The Giant Sequoia groves that stand on our public lands are an awe-inspiring American treasure. We all have a responsibility to future generations to ensure remaining Sequoia groves are protected and that wildfire-impacted groves are restored. The NFF is dedicated to supporting this important effort." - Mary Mitsos, president and CEO, National Forest Foundation

"The National Park Foundation supports conservation efforts across the country in partnership with the National Park Service. The Foundation applauds the initiative of the Save Our Sequoias Act, and looks forward to applying the best conservation science to protect and restore this iconic species, half of which are found on national park lands." - Will Shafroth, president and CEO, National Park Foundation 

"We agree with taking congressional action to declare an emergency in order to ensure the survival of giant sequoias. To this end, the federal agencies, state of California, and Tribes should work together to develop a science-based plan supported by dedicated, sustained federal funding and staffing. We also support transparency as the National Park Service and US Forest Service along with partners address grove-by-grove resilience and enhancement, and report their progress while setting priorities for future efforts. We look forward to working with you, Ranking Member Grijalva and your counterparts in the Senate on a final version of the bill that achieves the following goals-- urgency, science-based decision making, collaboration, transparency and funding. We are pleased to support H.R.2989 as amended by the Westerman managers amendment to the Save Our Sequoias Act, and appreciate working with you, Speaker McCarthy and all of the bipartisan Members supporting the bill to continue our urgent effort to protect the majestic giant sequoias groves." - Kristen Brengel, senior vice president of government affairs, National Parks Conservation Association 

"The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) writes in support of H.R. 2989, the Save Our Sequoias Act that would increase the coordination, pace and scale of forest management activities to protect giant sequoia groves on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada in California from the threat of wildfires. The legislation would facilitate collaborative forest restoration and mitigation projects, hazardous fuels reduction treatments, expedited environmental reviews and consultations, while maintaining a robust scientific analysis of project impacts to protect communities and giant sequoias from wildland fires." - Anthony L. Firenzi, director of strategic affairs, Placer County Water Agency 

"Majestic giant sequoias have stood tall for thousands of years as a symbol of nature’s grandeur and living embodiment of America’s natural wonders, but today they need our help to survive. The bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act accelerates forest restoration activities and empowers state and federal agencies to work together through Good Neighbor Authority agreements to protect these iconic trees from devastating wildfires. If we act now, we can ensure giant sequoias thrive for generations to come." - Brian Yablonski, CEO, The Property and Environment Research Center

"Year after year, federal agencies watch as catastrophic wildfires destroy landscapes across the West, putting watersheds, wildlife, communities, and entire economies at risk. It doesn’t have to be this way. Thank you to Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) and Representative Peters (D-CA) for their work to provide clear direction to the agencies to work with ranchers and other land users to expedite hazardous fuels reduction at a meaningful scale. If the federal government can move with urgency to save sequoias, they can and should move with the same urgency to address threats to grasslands, forests, and rangelands across the West." - Kaitlynn Glover, executive director, Public Lands Council

"Safari Club International (SCI) is proud to support the Save Our Sequoias Act. Now more than ever, Congress needs to enable management authorities to effectively and sustainably manage our forests and habitats for the betterment of people, wildlife, and biodiversity conservation. This bill does just that, and we thank Speaker McCarthy and Representative Peters for introducing this critical legislation." - Ben Cassidy, executive vice president, Safari Club International

"Save the Redwoods League and our federal, state, and tribal partners led significant efforts to restore resilience to the giant sequoias in the past year, yet the existential threat across the range remains severe. It is critically urgent that the National Park Service and USDA-Forest Service have the tools and sustained/permanent funding necessary to implement near-term restoration actions and long-term stewardship of the Giant Sequoia ecosystem. Ensuring a robust future of this iconic species is among the League’s highest priorities. We welcome the opportunity presented by the reintroduction of the Save Our Sequoias Act to work with Congress to secure the necessary resources and flexibility for our partners to do this critical work, comprehensively and sustainably. The League applauds the leadership of Speaker McCarthy, Congressman Peters and all the bill’s cosponsors for their commitment to giant sequoia conservation." - Sam Hodder, president and CEO, Save the Redwoods League

"The primary threat to old-growth forests on public lands are climate-amplified disturbances like wildfire, drought, insects, and disease. Losing nearly a fifth of the world's Giant Sequoia populations in just two years is a stark reminder that our land management policies need to adapt as quickly as these threats are emerging. The Save Our Sequoias Act recognizes this call to action and seeks to better equip forestry professionals with the tools and resources they need to protect and restore these iconic landscapes through science-based management. We are grateful for this bipartisan effort led by Representatives Kevin McCarthy and Scott Peters." - Terry T. Baker, CEO, Society of American Foresters

"For decades, forest managers have suppressed almost all natural wildfires and intentionally excluded Indigenous cultural burning, which has drastically changed the structure and composition of our national forests. Drought and longer fire seasons have resulted in more frequent high severity burns and higher rates of tree mortality. By allowing active stewardship work to return the forests to more resilient conditions, the Save Our Sequoias Act will address these trends head on. The Save Our Sequoias Act is a significant first step in scaling up the use and effectiveness of active stewardship." - Morgan Varner, director of fire research, Tall Timbers 

"The Giant Sequoias we enjoy in our backyard are more of a treasure than most imagine. These groves include some of the biggest and most majestic trees in the world. I have personally taken guests from other countries to see the 'big trees' and they are typically left speechless before they even see the largest examples. These treasures, which date back centuries and more, can only be experienced in a relatively tiny portion of the landscape of our country making them extremely valuable even if it were only for their rarity. They also, however, provide unbelievable beauty as an anchor and backdrop to the forest, critical habitat and linkage to the forest ecosystem and carbon sequestration which plays an increasingly vital role in the surrounding environs. These naturally fire-resistant giants are really only threatened by forest management practices which allow tree density to be unhealthy and ladder fuels to propagate allowing fire they have survived for millennia to reach into their crowns which do not afford the natural fire protections." - Dennis Townsend, chairman, Tulare County Board of Supervisors

"Giant Sequoia are a living national monument and need protection to ensure that future generations can enjoy and understand the tremendous role they play in our ecosystem. The Save Our Sequoias Act provides a science-based approach to support the management needed to save this iconic species." - Pat Conzemius, president and CEO, Wildlife Forever

"We are excited to stand in support of the Save our Sequoias Act. It is critical that the general public understand that a managed forest is a healthy forest, and if we are going to save the Sequoias, we have to take immediate action to reduce hazardous fuels in the surrounding areas. The Sequoias are of particular interest to Yosemite Clean as there are Sequoia groves in our backyard, some of which have already burned. This bill is a step in the right direction, and we hope it moves quickly." - Tom Hobby, CEO, Yosemite Clean Energy