The U.S. President Joe Biden chose Friday – Earth Day – to sign an executive order protecting some of the country’s largest and oldest trees.

“We have reached a point where the environmental crisis has become so obvious to everyone except the former president that we really have the opportunity to do what we could not do two, five, ten years ago,” Biden said.

The decree, which the president signed during a visit to Washington State, will require the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service to identify threats to old trees, such as wildfires and climate change, as well as the development of policies to protect forestry.

Century-old trees are allies in the fight against climate change, as they absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, the accumulation of which contributes to global warming. Scientists say that redwood forests are one of the most effective means of removing and processing carbon dioxide in the world. Thousands of redwoods have been destroyed in the USA in recent years.

Biden’s decree requires that managers managing federal land resources annually identify and keep records of old, centuries-old trees throughout the country.

This protective measure is designed to restore the forests of the United States, which in recent years have been destroyed by fires, drought and rot.