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Wisconsin’s Trillion Trees Pledge Goal Increased to 100 Million By 2030 PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Monday, 22 April 2024 10:19

forest-conserveObjective to plant 75 million trees by the end of 2030 raised to 100 million. Since 2021, Wisconsin has planted over 32 million trees, which means the state has already achieved over 40 percent of its initial target in just three years.

WAUNAKEE — Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in celebration of Earth Day today and Forest Appreciation Week this week, announced that the state is increasing its Trillion Trees Pledge planting goal from planting 75 million trees by the end of 2030 to planting 100 million trees by the end of 2030. Gov. Evers and DNR also released the Wisconsin Trillion Trees Pledge 2023 Annual Report today, which shows Wisconsin has planted more than 32 million trees since Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #112 in 2021 committing Wisconsin to the Trillion Trees Pledge, bringing the state more than 40 percent towards its goal just three years into the pledge.

Gov. Evers today signed Executive Order #221, increasing the state’s tree-planting goal to 100 million trees by the end of 2030 at an Evers Administration Day of Service event at Governor Nelson State Park, where members of the governor’s cabinet and their staff planted trees in celebration of Earth Day as part of the DNR’s plans to plant approximately 2,200 seedlings total at Governor Nelson State Park.

tony-evers“Since Day One, we’ve been working hard to protect Wisconsin’s vast and vibrant natural resources—from our acres of forest to our miles of shorelines—for future generations. That’s the future we’ve promised our kids, and that’s the future they deserve,” said Gov. Evers. “Planting trees and conserving forestlands are simple but powerful tools to help store carbon dioxide, improve air quality, protect wildlife habitats, and combat the climate crisis, all while supporting our statewide economies. At the core of this work is bolstering our workforce, supporting more conservation-focused jobs, and giving folks opportunities to gain the skills and knowledge they need to care for our environment.

“I’m excited today to increase Wisconsin’s commitment to planting 100 million trees by the end of 2030,” continued Gov. Evers. “Conserving and growing our forests is critical to protecting our planet and our environment and allows us to better support our communities, our economy, and our workforce. And I’m proud my administration and I are kicking off our continued work toward this important goal by planting trees at Governor Nelson State Park on Earth Day.”

Gov. Evers has once again proclaimed April 22, 2024, as Earth Day in Wisconsin and proclaimed April 22, 2024, through Arbor Day, which is April 26, 2024, as Forest Appreciation Week. The governor’s Earth Day proclamation is available here, and the governor’s Forest Appreciation Week and Arbor Day proclamation is available here.

clean-airOn Earth Day 2021, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #112, joining the global Trillion Trees Pledge and committing to plant 75 million new trees in rural and urban areas and conserve 125,000 acres of forest in Wisconsin by the end of 2030 in collaboration with public, private, and non-governmental partners. In just the third year of the pledge, Wisconsin has already achieved more than 40 percent of its original tree-planting goal. With the increased pledge to 100 million new trees, the pledge would enable the state to store and exchange a total of 4.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide per year in mature trees planted due to the state’s Trillion Trees Pledge alone, as according to the United States Department of Agriculture, in one year, a mature tree can store and exchange approximately 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This new goal will also aid Wisconsin in contributing to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers’ recently-announced pledge to plant 250 million trees over the next 10 years. 

According to the Wisconsin Trillion Trees Pledge 2023 Annual Report, more than 9.8 million trees were planted, and more than 3,000 acres of forestland were conserved in Wisconsin in 2023. Of the 9.8 million trees planted in 2023, the DNR supplied nearly 6.5 million of the seedlings planted, including more than 2.1 million that were planted on private lands, over 1.9 million that were planted on DNR, federal, Tribal, and other public lands, more than 99,000 that were planted in county forests, more than 31,000 that were planted in school forests, and over 37,000 that were given to elementary school students last Arbor Day. The DNR’s reforestation program has supplied Wisconsin landowners with more than 1.6 billion seedlings since its founding in the early 1900s.

Additionally, as announced in his 2024 State of the State address, Gov. Evers approved an additional conservation easement covering 54,898 acres of the Pelican River Forest to complete one of the largest conservation projects in Wisconsin history. Conserving the Pelican River Forest also makes significant progress towards Gov. Evers’ Trillion Trees Pledge, which includes conserving 125,000 acres of forestland by 2030. According to the DNR, the Pelican River Forest conservation easement will achieve 55 percent of the governor’s goal, which will be included in the 2024 report. 

The DNR is coordinating the implementation of the pledge on behalf of the state of Wisconsin through partnerships with private nurseries. In 2023, private nurseries supplied an estimated 3.16 million trees planted throughout Wisconsin for conservation purposes, in addition to all the trees supplied by private nurseries for landscaping.

Further, to support Wisconsin’s goal of planting 1 million trees in urban areas, the DNR is awarding $4 million to local governments, Tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations through a competitive Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act grant program. According to the DNR, a well-managed urban forest increases property values, reduces stormwater runoff and erosion, improves air quality, and reduces energy used for heating and cooling. Applications are due early this summer, and awards will be announced in the fall.

More information about the Trillion Trees Pledge, Wisconsin’s Tree Planting Map, the list of partners, and the full report of 2023 accomplishments is available here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2024 10:41
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