Legislation 

H.R. 8168

Press Releases

What They Are Saying: The Save Our Sequoias Act
Bipartisan Coalition Leads Efforts to Save America's Iconic Sequoias
Westerman, McCarthy Lead Bipartisan Giant Sequoias Tour

Resources

Save Our Sequoias One Pager
Save Our Sequoias Myth v. Fact

In the News

California's giant sequoias are being destroyed by wildfires. This bill can save them. | The Fresno Bee

We know what to do to save the giant sequoias | The Washington Post

Congress wants to save California’s giant sequoias from worsening wildfires. Here’s the plan. | San Francisco Chronicle

Democrats push to overhaul mining law, citing clean energy | The Washington Post

Benvenuto to Washington | Politico 

‘Time to act.’ What’s rising from the ashes of major giant sequoia wildfires in California | The Fresno Bee

Trail of 100 Giants to open Friday | The Porterville Recorder

Congressman Kevin McCarthy Leads Bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Sequoia National Forest to View wildfire Devastation on Giant Sequoias | Sierra Sun Times

Trail of 100 Giants could open May 13; Effort to preserve them continues | The Porterville Recorder

Devastation of Alder Creek Grove shows need to manage forest | The Porterville Recorder

Biden forest plan stirs dispute over what counts as “old” | Associated Press 

Congress turns to trees to fight climate change | National Journal

Giant Sequoias’ Wildfire Risks Prod Congress to Bolster Forestry | Bloomberg Government

Save our Sequoias legislation could be introduced in June | The Porterville Recorder

Events

June 23, 2022 | Save Our Sequoias Press Conference

Supporting Organizations

"I have been fortunate to have visited and observed the majestic Sequoias of California. They are awe-inspiring and worthy of protection as national treasures. However, the greatest threat to the giant Sequoias are severe wildfires intensified by the lack of proper forest management. This has resulted in hotter wildfires and high density ladder fuels that allows wildfires to reach into the vulnerable canopy of the Sequoias.  Removal of the hazardous fuels feeding the wildfires will eliminate this threat and protect the Sequoias. Therefore, as stewards of America’s forests, the American Loggers Council endorses and supports the Save Our Sequoias Act." - American Loggers Council

"Healthy streams and healthy forests are closely linked. The unprecedented loss of Giant Sequoias threatens the watersheds around them, which are home to trout and other popular sportfish. On behalf of the nation’s recreational fishing industry, the American Sportfishing Association thanks Leader McCarthy and Rep. Peters for working to conserve these incredible resources through the bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act." - Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs, American Sportfishing Association

"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 one of those keystone species that is synonymous with 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 unique and treasured natural resource." - Dan Forster, vice president and chief conservation officer, Archery Trade Association

"As the California trade association representing the sector of the timber industry that 'does the work' of fuels reduction, wildfire prevention and fire salvage, Associated California Loggers strongly supports the bipartisan 'Save Our Sequoias Act.' We believe that the federal government should move with all due speed to offer greater protection to the unique and historic Sequoia forests, along with undertaking the collaboration and streamlining to make this protection a reality sooner rather than later. We further believe that this kind of protection should be strongly considered for all other forests and trees on federal lands, both in California, and in the greater West." - Eric Carleson, executive director, Associated California Loggers 

"Protecting and restoring California’s forests and wildlands for the many benefits they provide is a top priority for CAL FIRE and the Newsom administration. As California faces the threats of a changing climate and increasingly longer and more severe wildfire seasons, it will take partners at every level working together to apply solutions rooted in science, resiliency, and forest management best practices to restore the special landscapes that we call home. As the Newsom administration furthers prescribed burning and other successful forest management activities to preserve stands of California’s beloved sequoias from severe wildfires, we appreciate the Save our Sequoias Act’s commitment to these shared values. We look forward to future collaboration and being an active partner as part of this important work to address forest health and resiliency challenges." - Joe Tyler, chief, Cal FIRE

"Calaveras Big Trees Association, the non-profit partner of the only California state park with giant sequoia groves, strongly endorses this vital bipartisan federal legislation to protect our iconic trees.  In order to protect the park and surrounding communities from a devastating wildfire, the build-up of excess fuels urgently needs removal now, followed by long-term maintenance for forest health. Tourists coming to Calaveras Big Trees State Park to enjoy the beauty of the sequoias are essential to our local economy." - Vida Kenk, president, Calaveras Big Trees Association

"Calaveras County Water District is thrilled to endorse the Save our Sequoias legislation to protect our majestic Giant Sequoias. These trees are an imperative component of our ecosystem, which play a valuable role in the health of our watersheds. Proper forest management must be a priority now, in order to protect our watersheds for the future." - Bertha Hill, board director, Calaveras County Water District

"The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors is thrilled to support the Save Our Sequoias Act, a bipartisan bill developed to reform management practices on Federal lands specifically related to improving the health and resiliency of Giant Sequoias.  With Big Trees State Park in our backyard and the recent history and current threat of deadly wildfires in our County, this legislation to provide funds for hazardous fuels reduction, shared stewardship agreements, expediting environmental reviews and reforestation strategies for the Giant Sequoias is heartily welcomed in our community and we stand ready to support in every way we can." - Amanda Folendorf, chair, Calaveras County Board of Supervisors

"California’s forests have suffered historic wildfire seasons in recent years, and the threat of further catastrophic wildfires this year and in the years to come has been exacerbated by the state’s persistent drought and high rates of tree mortality. The Save our Sequoias Act provides commonsense 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 otherwise imposed by well-intentioned but cumbersome federal regulations. 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." - Kirk Wilbur, vice president of government affairs, California Cattlemen's Association

"California is facing a significant accumulation of hazardous fuels. The Save our Sequoias Act provides both funding and commonsense policy adjustments that will allow for enhanced coordination, expedited environmental reviews and consultation, analysis of implementation, and 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

"Climate-generated wildfires have caused enormous damage throughout California. Without immediate action by the federal government, wildfires could also destroy even more of California’s iconic environmental treasures – our Giant Sequoias. Twenty percent of our Sequoias have already been harmed or destroyed, and the entire population is at its greatest risk in more than 700 years. With his leadership on the comprehensive Save our Sequoias Act, Rep. Scott Peters is helping ensure these awesome giants, who were here long before us, can still be here long after we are gone." - Toni G. Atkins, president pro tempore, California State Senate

"The Save the Sequoias Act is a comprehensive strategy to address threats to these iconic trees, from ecosystem degradation to wildfire. This bipartisan effort centers the very best science and integrates Indigenous forest management practices to protect Sequoias as an incredible American landmark and carbon sink. Of particular note is this legislation’s commitment to coordination and public engagement, which support the restoration, protection, and maintenance of these trees from seed to stand."- Ugbaad Kosar, deputy director of policy, Carbon180

"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 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 resilience to wildfires will take the kind of smart, modern approach that is proposed in the Save Our Sequoias Act. That includes public-private partnerships and better coordination of resources to accelerate science-based treatments to reduce wildfire risks for the giant Sequoias. We appreciate the work of Leader McCarthy and Representatives Peters on this legislation, and hope that will help establish a model for addressing wildfires over the long-term in communities across the American west."- Marty Durbin, senior vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"As wildfires continue to threaten fish and wildlife habitats and forest resources throughout the West, including the groves of giant sequoias, we are thankful for the vision of Leader McCarthy, Reps. Peters, Costa, and Westerman. CSF is proud to support the Save our Sequoias Act as part of our efforts to secure pragmatic approaches to increasing forest resiliency and restoring forests degraded by wildfire. We strongly support the legislation and encourage Congress to take it up without delay." - Jeff Crane, president and CEO, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

"This bipartisan bill is a vital step to preserving and restoring the Giant Sequoias for future generations following unprecedented wildfires in the last two years that have destroyed nearly a fifth of these ancient trees. Good forest management is the cornerstone of wildfire prevention - it reduces the waste wood that can fuel large, uncontrollable blazes, helping the forests to grow and remain healthy, while keeping neighboring communities safe." - Alan Knight, group director of sustainability, Drax

"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, Envivia

"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. We are grateful to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), Representative Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AR-4) and the 27 other bipartisan co-sponsors for their leadership introducing the Save Our Sequoias Act. The smart and swift action authorized by the SOS Act will ensure that the Giant Sequoias continue to stand tall and inspire awe and wonder for generations to come." Jessica Moerman, vice president of science and policy, Evangelical Environmental Network

"Grassroots Wildland Firefighters support the SOS Act as an important piece of legislation needed to immediately address the current and potential irreplaceable loss of giant sequoias due to the ever increasing severity of wildfires. Grassroots Wildland Firefighters recognize public land management agencies need streamlined tools such as understory removal and prescribed fire at an increased pace and scale to reduce excessive and hazardous forest fuels buildup within and surrounding California's legacy giant sequoia groves. The SOS Act will support efforts for local robust stakeholder partnerships and will help secure the future resilience of these priceless American treasures at the same time creating a safer work environment for the Wildland Firefighters tasked with protecting them." - Kelly Martin, president, Grassroots Wildland Firefighters

"The need for urgent action to restore the iconic giant sequoia is more pressing with each passing drought and wildfire year. There are far few resources to adequately protect critical habitat within these ancient groves and this bill provides essential fiscal assistance for immediately implementation by our partnerships." - Jerry Keir, Great Basin Institute

"The bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act takes important steps towards protecting a great national treasure. We hope this piece of legislation serves as the model for future efforts to manage and restore all of our nation’s forestlands." - Dana Cole, Hardwood Federation

"The Kern County Board of Supervisors is pleased to support the Save Our Sequoias (SOS) Act, which will enhance coordination between federal, state, tribal, and local land managers to accelerate science-based forest treatments to improve the resilience of Giant Sequoias to the dangers of wildfire. Over a century of fire suppression mismanagement has created a massive buildup of hazardous fuels around the Giant Sequoias, leading to unnaturally intense wildfires. Since 2015, fires in California have destroyed nearly one-fifth of all Giant Sequoias. The County of Kern applauds the SOS Act's funding and establishment of a new grant program to support the implementation of hazardous fuels reduction treatments in and around Giant Sequoia groves. Additionally, the codification of expedited emergency procedures and environmental reviews along with comprehensive reforestation strategies to regenerate Giant Sequoias will help ensure the survival of one of California's most revered natural wonders. For these reasons, our Board fully endorses the SOS Act and will continue to support this legislation." - Zack Scrivner, chairman, Kern County Board of Supervisors

"Giant Sequoias are a universally recognized symbol of our nation’s abundant forest resources. Across the country, stakeholders are working together to reduce wildfire risk, successfully suppress fires when they occur, and promptly restore forests after fire, and collaboration is driving unprecedented progress in species conservation across the country. We are pleased to see a bipartisan bill focused on pulling together a diverse group of stakeholders to protect these national treasures. Acting together to save Giant Sequoias from wildfire is critical to their survival and a model for successful environmental policy everywhere." - Dave Tenny, president and CEO, National Alliance of Forest Owners

"Western forests face a year-round risk from catastrophic wildfires that harm environmental quality, devastate communities and destroy some of our greatest natural treasures. The bipartisan Save our Sequoias Act will improve the health of the iconic Giant Sequoias. It will enhance intergovernmental coordination of forest health projects, expedite environmental reviews and strengthen reforestation strategies. Counties applaud Leader McCarthy and Congressman Peters for their bipartisan efforts on this issue, and we urge Congress to swiftly pass this legislation." - Matthew Chase, executive director, National Association of Counties

"The National Association of Forest Service Retirees would like to thank the bipartisan sponsors of the Save our Sequoias Act. This important legislation could not come at a more urgent time as wildfire continues to threaten our beautiful old giants.  The situation is critical, we urge Congress and the Administration to swiftly turn this bill into law so we can effectively manage and protect our iconic Sequoias." - Steve Ellis, chair, National Association of Forest Service Retirees

"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

"California is home to an abundance of natural wonders, not to mention the largest outdoor recreation economy in the country. Among these precious resources are the Giant Sequoia groves, which span tens of thousands of acres across the state and support dozens of communities. Sadly, the dramatic increase of wildfires is threatening the future vitality of these majestic forests, as well as stretching already limited financial resources set aside for federal land managers to implement resiliency and restoration projects. The outdoor industry welcomes this federal legislative effort by Leader McCarthy and Congressman Peters to increase inter-agency support, invest in data and analysis for grove resiliency, and streamline resources for emergency procedures. This bipartisan bill is essential to protect a key part of our natural heritage and we encourage Congress to act without delay." - Lise Aangeenbrug, executive director, Outdoor Industry Association

"PG&E is pleased to support the bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act. California’s iconic Giant Sequoias face an existential crisis, and immediate and bold action is needed to protect the remaining 75,000 trees. We have witnessed firsthand the devastation of increasingly catastrophic wildfires sweeping across our heavily forested service area. Recent years of historic drought have worsened the situation, adding to the already large amount of burnable fuel on forest lands. To combat the growing climate threat, we are working aggressively to mitigate wildfire risk in our own service area and make our energy system more resilient. PG&E has invested more than $14 billion in wildfire mitigation work since 2018 and we plan to invest nearly $6 billion to mitigate wildfires in 2022 alone. However, we know that more must be done. Comprehensive mitigation efforts, acting across government and industry lines, are needed to fully address the climate threat. PG&E applauds this bipartisan approach and looks forward to working with Members of Congress and other federal stakeholders to save our beautiful Giant Sequoias for future generations to behold." - Pacific Gas & Electric Company

"Placer County is proud to support the bipartisan Save Our Sequoias (SOS) Act as part of our overall forest management efforts. Our county is home to one of the nation’s Giant Sequoia groves and these iconic trees have undergone severe stress in recent years due to the drought, bug infestation and the on-going threat of wildfire. The SOS Act will create a Giant Sequoia Health and Resiliency Assessment program to prioritize and inform forest management projects and study Giant Sequoia health and resiliency over time. These are invaluable strategies that Placer County strongly supports. As important, the SOS ACT will enhance coordination between various levels of government and provide much needed funding by establishing a new grant program to support hazardous fuels reduction projects. We are committed to reducing the threat of wildfire in any capacity possible and we are confident this Act will decrease the risk to these iconic trees." - Placer County Board of Supervisors

"The Placer County Big Trees Grove is in our watershed just 10-miles from our French Meadows forest health project. We know how precious these trees are and are delighted for this legislation to encourage collaboration, use the best available science, and streamline environmental review to protect them from catastrophic fire." - Tony Firenzi, Director of Strategic Affairs, Placer County Water Agency

"Towering up to 275 feet and living more than 3,000 years, giant sequoias are among the most ancient, majestic, and mysterious living organisms on the planet. Despite their grandeur, recent megafires have also revealed them to be extremely vulnerable, with as many as 10,000 giant sequoias killed in recent years. By accelerating forest restoration through categorical exclusions, Good Neighbor Authority, and enhanced partnerships, the bipartisan Save Our Sequoias Act could play a critical role in protecting these natural wonders for future generations." - Brian Yablonski, CEO, Property and Environment Research Center

"Year after year, destructive fires threaten and destroy this country’s most treasured ecosystems. From the sequoia groves in California to the sagebrush steppe in Colorado, management failures on the part of federal agencies have created conditions that put lands, watersheds, and wildlife at extreme risk. We thank Representative Peters and Leader McCarthy for their important work to highlight the clear and simple paths that agencies can take, in collaboration with ranchers and other land users, to improve and expedite hazardous fuels reduction. If the federal government can move with urgency to save sequoias, they can and should move with urgency to help us protect grasslands, forests, and rangelands across the West."- Kaitlynn Grover, executive director, Public Lands Council and NCBA Natural Resources

"Over the past several years, California’s wildfire seasons have grown both longer and more severe each year, as climate change has exacerbated the decades-overdue need for better vegetation management and fuels treatment strategies. One of the unfortunate casualties of the state’s increased wildfire activity has been the loss of Giant Sequoias, which have suffered a 20 percent loss during the last two wildfire seasons alone. Many of California’s Giant Sequoia groves are overgrown and ripe for catastrophic wildfire activity unless land managers are able to increase the pace and scale of necessary fuels treatments to salvage these ancient and significant stands of trees. The SOS Act would provide myriad vital tools to land managers that would help increase the pace and scale of treatments around Giant Sequoias to help preserve the trees and reduce the risk of destructive wildfires in and around Giant Sequoia groves." - Staci Heaton, senior policy advocate, Rural County Representatives of California

"Severe drought and extreme heat in many parts of the country are causing more intense and frequent wildfires that threaten the survival of national ecological treasures. Salesforce applauds Leader McCarthy and Rep. Peters for their bipartisan effort to respond to the climate crisis with meaningful action to ensure the long-term viability of these forests in the face of climate change. We look forward to further collaboration with policymakers interested in developing and investing in nature-based solutions to fight climate change." - Charles McCray III, federal affairs manager, Salesforce

"The Save Our Sequoias Act is assertive legislation that meets the emergency that we’re facing in California’s giant sequoia groves. The status quo is unsustainable, and this legislation provides our park and forest stewards on the ground the science-based tools and the flexibility they need to save our sequoia." - Sam Hodder, Save the Redwoods League

"Giant sequoias are designed to live with fire, just not the kind of fires we are seeing now. The Nature Conservancy strongly supports active interventions that are science-based and designed to restore ecological integrity in the areas in and around groves so that when wildfires do come, they are once again restorative rather than destructive. We look forward to working with the Save Our Sequoias Act sponsors to ensure these intentions are reflected in the final legislation and will help facilitate this important work. Importantly, we seek to ensure agencies have the flexibility to use any available authority, sufficient resources and more efficient processes while maintaining environmental safeguards throughout the process. These are essential conditions for success, as will be collaboration among federal and state government agencies, Indigenous peoples, scientific experts and other relevant stakeholders. We appreciate Representatives Peters and McCarthy for their leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with them and others to secure the steps necessary to reduce the risks to our remaining giant sequoias." - Kameran Onley, director of north American policy and government relations, The Nature Conservancy 

"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, vice chair and supervisor, Tulare County

 

"As Chair and Vice-Chair of the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, we fully support the Save Our Sequoias Act, a bipartisan bill to implement better management practices on Federal lands specifically related to improving the health and resiliency of Giant Sequoias.  Big Trees State Park is in our neighboring Calaveras County and with the increase of mega fires in California, legislation such as this is championed in order to provide funds for hazardous fuels reduction, shared stewardship agreements, expediting environmental reviews and reforestation strategies for the Giant Sequoias."- Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors

"Wildlife Forever strongly supports the Save our Sequoias Act. These iconic species are an important part of our nations unparalleled natural resource legacy and need to be conserved for future generations." - 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 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

Letters of Support

Calaveras County
Fresno County
Kern County
Rural County Representatives of California 



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