Comment Opportunity: Support American Chestnut Restoration

September 30, 2020

The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) are leading an unprecedented mission to restore the American chestnut tree to its native range. One promising method for restoration has been the development of a transgenic American chestnut tree with enhanced blight tolerance. 

To use the transgenic tree in restoration efforts, ESF has filed a petition with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS).  Regulatory approval will clear the way for restoration planting programs and large scale reintroductions. The USDA-APHIS 60-day public comment period is now open until October 19, 2020.  

SAF supports this petition and encourages members to take advantage of this comment opportunity. For reference, here is a link to our position statement on the Regulation of Genetically Modified Trees. Here are two easy ways to participate:

  • Submit a public comment here.  It would be especially valuable to the USDA-APHIS if you could share your own experience or scientific literature demonstrating that the transgenic chestnut is unlikely to pose a “Plant Pest Risk,” or if you could support other points made in the petition. Below are additional resources to help guide you through this process:

    • Please consider sharing this information with your colleagues to encourage them to submit their own public comment. Feel free to forward this information and share these links with those who may want to support our efforts.

    If you have question on SAF’s position, feel free to contact Danielle Watson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs. If you have questions about the petition or the restoration efforts, please contact Sara Fern Fitzsimmons, Director of Restoration at The American Chestnut Foundation.