While it is welcome news that the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is creating a carbon preserve that would protect a portion of older forests [“Save Washington’s legacy forests to save ourselves,” April 13, Opinion], this action must only be the first step toward protecting Washington’s oldest trees. Our old-growth and mature trees provide unparalleled carbon sequestration and storage benefits that can help stave off the worst impacts of climate change.

In addition to the state doing more to protect old-growth and mature trees, the federal government must act as well. The Biden administration has spoken of the importance of forests as a buffer to climate change, and should protect old and mature trees in federal forests managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Rather than make the mistakes of the past, let’s give these trees a chance to grow to their fullest carbon storage and sequestration potential as we end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Alex Craven, Seattle