WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump last month signed an executive order establishing the One Trillion Trees Interagency Council. The council’s responsibilities include developing, coordinating, and promoting federal government interactions with the initiative with respect to tree growing, restoration, and conservation.

The order follows the president’s announcement in January that the United States would join the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) One Trillion Trees initiative a global effort to grow and conserve one trillion trees worldwide by 2030. “Following through on my commitment, and given the expansive footprint of our federal forests and woodlands, this order initiates the formation of the United States One Trillion Trees Interagency Council to further the federal government’s contribution to the global effort.”

Trump’s executive order was enthusiastically acknowledged by the WEF, which launched the global initiative “to grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees around the world - in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change.” The home page of the organization’s website notes, “Even climate sceptic Trump has pledged to back (our) work.”

The One Trillion Trees Interagency Council, which is to function through Dec. 31, 2030, will be co-chaired by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture. The Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination will serve as vice chairs.

Membership of the broad-based council reads like a who’s who of a presidential cabinet. It includes Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and other appointees.

The council’s mission includes:

Developing and implementing a strategy and methodology to track and measure any federal activities related to the Initiative, specifically with respect to trees grown, restored, and conserved;

Identifying opportunities to use existing authorities and existing or future authorized and appropriated funds to promote efforts to protect and restore trees, and to promote the active management of existing federal lands to facilitate growth, restoration, and conservation of trees; and

Informing state, local, and tribal officials of federal efforts to protect, grow, and actively manage forests and woodlands on Federal lands.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.