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The Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is the first state agency in the United States to make a pledge that supports the 1t.org global goal to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees by 2030.

DFS will work with a wide range of partners to secure resources needed to meet the goal of conserving, restoring and growing 1 trillion trees by 2030. DFS plans to support the initiative by utilizing best management practices for forest protection and restoration, conservation of soil and water resources, and increasing the urban tree canopy. Healthy forests are a critical nature-based solution to climate change. Forests in the U.S. and forest products currently capture almost 15% of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

“A commitment to protect and enhance Delaware’s forests is in the best interest of everyone,” said Delaware State Forester Michael Valenti. “Community trees and rural forests provide so many natural benefits, but the most valuable of them all is a forest’s contribution to a clean and healthier environment.”

Expanding Forestry

Encompassing 1.25 million acres, Delaware has nearly 360,000 forested acres. With 78% of the state’s forests privately owned, the Delaware Forest Service (DFS) recognizes that technical assistance will be vital to achieving the pledge made to the 1t.org U.S. Chapter. The agency employs 22 full-time forest service staff, including professional foresters, conservation technicians, education, communication and administrative professionals. These experts will provide technical assistance, funding and education to serve as the foundation for tree planting, conservation, reforestation, forest management and wildlife protection throughout Delaware.

DFS also plans to assist new and existing businesses in opening new markets for forest products and increasing forestry professionals within the industry. Research has shown that for every million dollars invested in tree planting and forest restoration activities, 40 new jobs are created, improving Delaware’s local economy.

The 1t.org U.S. Chapter, led by American Forests and World Economic Forum, was created in August 2020, shortly after the Forum launched its global 1t.org initiative. The chapter is championing a new approach in the U.S. to creating healthy and resilient forests. Central to this approach is a diverse group of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and others who facilitate knowledge exchange, surface new collaboration opportunities, and unlock the full potential needed to accelerate and scale-up forest-related ambitions and actions.

To learn more about the pledge made to the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Delaware Forest Service, visit https://us.1t.org/pledge/delaware-forest-service-one-million-trees-2020-2030.

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