MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continued Earth Week celebrations today, releasing an annual report regarding Wisconsin’s progress on the Trillion Tree Pledge.
On Earth Day 2021, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #112, joining the global Trillion Tree Pledge and committing to plant 75 million new trees in rural and urban areas and conserve 125,000 acres of forest in Wisconsin by 2030 in collaboration with public, private, and non-governmental partners. When fully realized, Wisconsin’s tree pledge will result in nearly 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide stored over the next 50 years. According to the Wisconsin Trillion Tree Pledge 2022 Annual Report, more than 12.9 million trees were planted, and more than 2,000 acres of forestland were conserved in Wisconsin in 2022. In total, the state has planted more than 22.2 million trees since Gov. Evers committed to the Trillion Tree Pledge in 2021.
“Planting trees and conserving forestlands are simple but powerful tools to help store carbon dioxide, improve air quality, protect wildlife habitats, and combat the climate crisis, all while supporting our statewide economies,” said Gov. Evers. “We are thrilled to be nearly a third of the way through reaching our tree planting goal, and we’re going to continue this momentum forward so we can keep building a healthier, more sustainable future for our state.”
The forest products industry in Wisconsin accounts for more than 60,000 jobs and has a total industry output of $24.4 billion, and for every 10 jobs in the forest products industry, 12 additional jobs are supported in other state sectors. The governor’s 2023-25 biennial budget includes several investments to strengthen Wisconsin’s forest regeneration and management, take preventative action against invasive species, and expand the forestry industry workforce across the state. More information about the governor’s budget initiatives is available here.
According to the 2022 report released today, of the 12.9 million trees planted, the DNR supplied nearly 3.5 million of the seedlings planted, including more than 2.1 million that were planted on private lands, over 1 million that were planted on DNR, federal, Tribal, and other public lands, more than 175,000 that were planted in county forests, more than 36,000 that were planted in school forests, and over 35,000 that were given to elementary school students last Arbor Day. The DNR’s reforestation program has supplied Wisconsin landowners with more than 1.6 billion seedlings since its founding in the early 1900s.
The DNR is coordinating the implementation of the pledge on behalf of the state of Wisconsin. The DNR cannot meet the commitment alone and relies on partnerships with private nurseries to help fill the gap. In 2022, private nurseries supplied an estimated 500,000 trees planted throughout Wisconsin for conservation purposes, in addition to all the trees supplied by private nurseries for landscaping purposes.
“We rely on the efforts and support of residents, organizations, and businesses to achieve the goals listed in the pledge,” said DNR Secretary Adam Payne. “We encourage you to plant a tree—or a thousand trees—and then record it on Wisconsin’s Tree Planting Map so it counts towards the pledge.”
More information about the Trillion Trees Pledge, Wisconsin’s Tree Planting Map, the list of partners, and the full report of 2022 accomplishments is available here.
An online version of this release is available here.