“The importance of acting to protect local forests, and the ecosystem services they provide, is at a crucial window in the next ten years, before they are lost to development, pests and pathogens and the effects of climate change,” said Winnakee’s Executive Director Bob Davis.
“Within the lifetime of a child born today, many of the environmental and economic benefits of our forests will be denied to their generation, and those to come,” added Davis.
“Additionally, 70% of NY’s forests are not viable to regenerate without timely and comprehensive stewardship action, a key component of Winnakee’s conservation strategy to restore protected forests. The Hudson Valley, in particular, has the lowest forest regeneration rates in NYS. Coupled with one of the nation’s highest population growths in recent years, this could mean outright disaster for local forests and the public benefits they offer our region as one of the most desired places to live in the U.S.”
Winnakee’s Forever Forest campaign lays out a strategy to protect and restore 10,000 acres of forest to their fullest ecological potential. Winnakee is making this announcement on International Day of Forests, a day proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
As Davis notes: “Restoring forests can as much as double their ability to mitigate the effects of climate change, and this nature-based solution makes economic sense, too. In short, protecting our local forests is one of the most indispensable investments we can make for our region’s future.”
“Winnakee is proud to have expanded our conservation mission in recent years. The Forever Forests campaign is one way to help maintain and improve the quality of life we enjoy in our region and support our local economy while contributing globally to one of the most effective, nature-based solutions to climate change,” added David Ping, Winnakee Board Chair.
A healthy forest is one with the ability to support robust wildlife and plant populations, as well as its surrounding human population far into the future. Given the effects of a changing climate, the lands Winnakee works every day to protect have the right characteristics to help at risk species populations as the world faces an ongoing biodiversity crisis.