Marine One landing with trees
The wash of Marine One kicks up snow Friday, January 7, 2022, as it lands on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)

Hap­py Earth Day!

It’s not often that the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States is here in our region for an occa­sion like Earth Day, but it’s cer­tain­ly fit­ting that he is.

Here in the Pacif­ic North­west, we believe in car­ing for the Earth, our com­mon home. We are proud of our con­ser­va­tion eth­ic, our deter­mined lead­er­ship to reduce pol­lu­tion, our con­tri­bu­tions to cli­mate research, and our com­mit­ment to secure a just and respon­si­ble tran­si­tion to a clean ener­gy future.

It is grat­i­fy­ing that Pres­i­dent Biden rec­og­nizes this and has cho­sen to spend time in this great green land of Cas­ca­dia on Earth Day. Here’s an anno­tat­ed look at his plans for the day, as announced by the White House press office:

FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022

In the morn­ing, the Pres­i­dent will receive the President’s Dai­ly Brief. This meet­ing will be closed press.

[These Dai­ly Brief meet­ings, in which the Pres­i­dent receives impor­tant infor­ma­tion on what is hap­pen­ing in the coun­try and the world, are always closed to the press.]

Then, the Pres­i­dent will deliv­er remarks on Earth Day mak­ing the case for his bold agen­da to tack­le the cli­mate cri­sis, safe­guard our nation’s forests, and bol­ster our resilience in the face of threats like wild­fire. These remarks at Seward Park in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton will be cov­ered by the out-of-town pool.

[An event at which only pool cov­er­age is allowed is sim­pler to plan and imple­ment, with a lighter foot­print, due to hav­ing a small­er media pres­ence. The event will like­ly be record­ed and broad­cast through the White House web­site, how­ev­er.]

In the after­noon, the Pres­i­dent will deliv­er remarks on his recent actions to low­er costs and give fam­i­lies more breath­ing room, and will call on Con­gress to pass his plan to low­er health care and ener­gy costs. These remarks at Green Riv­er Col­lege in Auburn, Wash­ing­ton will be open press.

[Open press means that media out­lets can apply to send rep­re­sen­ta­tives to cov­er an event. The White House ensures that there is suf­fi­cient room for a larg­er num­ber of cor­re­spon­dents and pho­tog­ra­phers to report on the Pres­i­den­t’s com­ments.]

After, the Pres­i­dent will trav­el to Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware. The depar­ture from Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port will be open press. The depar­ture from Philadel­phia Inter­na­tion­al Air­port and the arrival at Delaware Air Nation­al Guard Base will be cov­ered by the out-of-town pool.


09:00 Pacif­icTHE PRESIDENT receives the President’s Dai­ly Brief

Closed Press

09:15 Pacif­icOut-of-Town Pool Call Time
10:30 Pacif­icTHE PRESIDENT deliv­ers remarks on Earth Day mak­ing the case for his bold agen­da to tack­le the cli­mate cri­sis, safe­guard our nation’s forests, and bol­ster our resilience in the face of threats like wildfire

Seward Park, Seat­tle, Washington
Out-of-Town Pool

12:30 Pacif­icTHE PRESIDENT deliv­ers remarks on his recent actions to low­er costs and give fam­i­lies more breath­ing room, and will call on Con­gress to pass his plan to low­er health care and ener­gy costs

Green Riv­er Col­lege, Auburn, Washington
Open Press

14:15 Pacif­icTHE PRESIDENT departs Auburn, Wash­ing­ton en route Seat­tle, Washington

Auburn Munic­i­pal Airport
Out-of-Town Pool

14:35 Pacif­icTHE PRESIDENT departs Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton enroute Philadel­phia, Pennsylvania

Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Airport
Open Press

22:15 East­ernTHE PRESIDENT arrives in Philadel­phia, Pennsylvania

Philadel­phia Inter­na­tion­al Airport
Out-of-Town Pool

22:40 East­ernTHE PRESIDENT arrives in New Cas­tle, Delaware

Delaware Air Nation­al Guard Base
Out-of-Town Pool


Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of NPI will be cov­er­ing the event in Auburn at Green Riv­er Col­lege, and we will share high­lights here on NPI’s Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate lat­er in the day. We will be watch­ing the Earth Day event at Seward Park as well via livestream while set­ting up our gear in Auburn.

The Wash­ing­ton Post reports that the Seward Park event will be tree-focused:

Biden to issue Earth Day order to safe­guard old-growth forests

The order, which the pres­i­dent will sign Fri­day in Seat­tle, aims to slow cli­mate change by stor­ing car­bon in trees

Pres­i­dent Biden will sign an exec­u­tive order on Fri­day in Seat­tle lay­ing the ground­work for pro­tect­ing some of the biggest and old­est trees in America’s forests, accord­ing to five indi­vid­u­als briefed on the plan who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because it was not yet finalized.

Biden will direct the For­est Ser­vice and Bureau of Land Man­age­ment to define and inven­to­ry mature and old-growth forests nation­wide with­in a year, three of the indi­vid­u­als said. He will also require the agen­cies to iden­ti­fy threats to these trees, such as wild­fire and cli­mate change, and to use that infor­ma­tion to craft poli­cies that pro­tect them.

While this might not sound like a big cli­mate action step, it is nonethe­less sig­nif­i­cant. As TreeP­AC Chair and NPI Advi­so­ry Coun­cilmem­ber Steve Zemke has writ­ten in this space, we lack use­ful and action­able data about our trees and forests at every lev­el: local, state, and fed­er­al. This exec­u­tive order could help with that. On its own, it’s not going to mit­i­gate cli­mate dam­age, but it could set the stage for the adop­tion of pol­i­cy direc­tions and poli­cies that we need.

NPI’s 2021 research found over­whelm­ing sup­port in Seat­tle for pro­tect­ing the Emer­ald City’s urban forests, with more than sev­en in ten vot­ers express­ing sup­port for a range of tree pro­tec­tion ideas test­ed in July and Octo­ber. One of those ideas was recent­ly approved by the Seat­tle City Coun­cil.

It appears that the White House plans to get Pres­i­dent Biden back to Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port by heli­copter rather than entire­ly by motor­cade. That ought to lessen the sever­i­ty of any traf­fic impacts in South King Coun­ty stem­ming from Biden’s vis­it to the Green Riv­er Col­lege in Auburn.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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