The Society of American Foresters released an informative fact sheet defining mature and old-growth forests and the importance of applying science-based policies as the Biden Administration works to define, identify and inventory mature and old-growth forests. The fact sheet also underscores that protecting old-growth forests includes promoting forest health to prevent loss from severe wildfire and other forest stressors.
After all, not all mature forests are healthy. We have seen in recent years that overly dense forests are more susceptible to catastrophic wildfire and nearly a century of forest fire suppression have helped create dangerously high fuel loads in many federally owned forests. Climate change pressures have further amplified the threat poor forest health poses on our health, economy and environment. That is why science-based forest management and policies are critical to maintain forest health and adapt to changing weather patterns.
You can read more about why it is important to incorporate good science in forestry policymaking by clicking on this link.