The bill introduced by the Rhode Island General Assembly seeks to protect old growth forests and rare forest ecosystems by establishing the "OLD GROWTH FOREST PROTECTION ACT." It defines old growth forests as areas with minimal human disturbance, trees over 100 years old, and a variety of tree ages, among other characteristics. The bill prohibits extractive logging on state or municipal land within these forests and requires an inventory to determine if forests meet the criteria for protection before any logging operations. The natural heritage program must approve logging operations, and a forest ecologist or registered arborist must supervise on-site activities. The bill also mandates public notification of land acquisitions two months prior and designates all natural heritage areas on state-owned land as natural area preserves without requiring approval from the director.

The bill amends existing laws by inserting new provisions and updating current ones, including the expansion of the Rhode Island executive climate change coordinating council to include the director of the natural heritage program. It requires the council to address deforestation and transition away from destructive logging practices. The bill also amends the "Natural Areas Protection Act of 1993" by changing the definition of "Director" to the director of the natural heritage program and streamlining the process for designating natural area preserves. It removes references to the natural heritage preservation commission and prohibits the alienation or use of state-owned interests in these preserves for non-preserve purposes. The bill increases penalties for causing a brushfire to a felony and is set to take effect upon passage.