Protect Ancient Cypress Trees’ Multi-Millennia Legacy

Target: Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Take action to save ancient trees from disappearing forever.

Ancient cypress trees are among nature’s oldest and most faithful guardians. Many have endured for centuries. But some of the most unique and long-lasting trees are at imminent risk if decisive action is not taken as soon as possible.

The oldest living tree in the entire eastern United States—a North Carolina old bald cypress tree growing sturdy and strong since the 600s BC—may very likely have its life cut short by rising sea waters in the decades to come. Conservationists have proposed many ideas to save this great-grandfather of the forest, including construction of living shorelines made up of native vegetation that could act as a natural protective barrier.

A different unique treasure off the coast of Alabama demonstrates that even the forces of the sea cannot keep some of these resilient trees down. Underneath these waters rests a 60,000-plus-year-old cypress forest: an incredible and one-of-a-kind artifact from the Ice Age. Unfortunately, exploitative industries have begun seeking permits to hatchet some of the trees. Not content to plunder forests on land, they now want to raze these aquatic natural wonders. Prior legislative efforts to have this relic declared a national marine sanctuary have failed, leaving the storied forest vulnerable still. Such a designation would open the area to tourists and researchers but would keep the greedy hands of industrialists off this precious reserve.

With the backing of a new and more conservation-focused Department of the Interior, these living museums could stand a fighting chance. Sign the petition below to urge investment in and support for these trees that embody the history of the nation across generations.


Dear Secretary Haaland,

Alabama’s ancient underwater cypress forest—the only one of its kind in the world—is a living monument that deserves and merits full protection. Previous efforts to protect this unique relic from commercial exploitation have fallen by the wayside, but with the dawn of a new conservation focus comes renewed hope for this forest. Please support the drive to make the underwater forest a national marine sanctuary.

These majestic trees need help on land, too. One of the oldest trees in North America, a North Carolina coastal old bald cypress tree, stands at risk as well from the forces of climate change. Rising sea levels could soon subject this millennia-old tree to a similar watery reckoning, but the old bald cypress may not prove quite so lucky in withstanding this onslaught. Invest in proactive solutions such as the creation of a living shoreline to safeguard this guardian that has witnessed the birth, the rise, and the endurance of America.

Help ensure that these natural legacies endure for generations to come.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Pixabay


  1. Linda Cummings says:

    While you are at it Haaland, why not stop the grotesque dark ages atrocities being permitted against wolves? I really want to know why you and Biden are OK with this gross injustice against wildlife.

  2. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    PLEASE protect ALL vulnerable species, both flora and fauna! The time to act is NOW.

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