American Forests’ Eric Sprague on the importance of trees and the role companies play with forests

Eric Sprague, vice president for forest restoration at American Forests, says the threat to forests is just as important now as it was in 1875, when the organization was founded.

“Climate change is really affecting our forests, degrading the ability they have to provide all the benefits that we rely on,” Sprague says. “American Forests is, again, bringing folks together to help solve some of these challenges.”

Trees are vital to drawing down carbon from the atmosphere. Organizations around the world are planting more trees to do just that. Sprague said they like to think about this work as “our carbon offense approach.”

“We also have to play a little bit of defense too,” Sprague said. “Our existing forests and cities and large landscapes already provide a huge climate benefit — 15 percent of all the carbon emissions the U.S. produces from burning fossil fuels is sequestered by our forests.”

American Forests plans to double that through conservation and “helping them adapt to climate change.”