March 21, 2022|By The Conservation Fund| Forests

Protecting and Appreciating America’s Forests

A forest is defined as “a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract.” But outside the pages of a dictionary, these amazing places are so much more. Forests provide indispensable ecological, economic, community and health benefits—like clean water and air, jobs, recreational opportunities, pulp and paper supply, and homes for a wide variety of wildlife species.

Forests are also one of our most important climate change mitigation strategies because they store carbon and absorb atmospheric emissions. In 2019, U.S. forests sequestered 791 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, approximately 12% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that year.

Pelican River area in Wisconsin- The Conservation FundPhoto by Jay Brittain.


Yet, every year America loses nearly a million acres of forest to conversion. Once these forests are gone, no amount of tree planting will make up for the loss of the natural carbon-removing capabilities that are urgently required right now to meet international climate goals.

The Conservation Fund is working to protect our country’s existing forests through our Working Forest Fund®. Once we purchase a forest, we put into place a sustainable management plan and raise the funds needed to implement perpetual conservation restrictions to ensure that the forest will always be a forest and able to continue providing these essential community, climate and environmental benefits.

Learn more about why protecting forests now is essential in these two articles written by our CEO and President Larry Selzer.

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Written By

The Conservation Fund

At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.5 million acres of land.