The Climate Benefits of CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program

Forest and Climate Change

Healthy forests provide many benefits, including clean air and water, essential wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and a range of forest products. Just as importantly, forests may also serve as a substantial carbon sink.

Carbon is stored in living trees, understory vegetation, forest soils, standing and downed dead trees, and forest floor litter. California’s forests sequester  an estimated 25.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year , equivalent to nearly 7% of California’s total greenhouse gas emissions  reported in 2020 .

State policies such as the  Climate Change Scoping Plan ,  Forest Carbon Plan , and  Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy  seek to maintain natural and working lands, including forests, as a carbon sink.