The Episcopal bishops of New England said the region risks losing its treasured fall foliage because of global warming and called on parishioners to work for environmental protection.
In a joint pastoral letter, the 11 bishops of New England said Christians are called to protect God's creation from acid rain, suburban sprawl, smog and dangerous pesticides.
"Today, the natural world is under assault, forests are being stripped and oceans plundered, natural resources are being exhausted and entire species killed," the bishops said in the pastoral letter. "Today, the world is being stripped, beaten and left half-dead."
Global warming threatens to strip the region of its maple, birch and beech trees within the next century, the bishops said. "We face the loss of our spectacular fall colors and the end of fall-foliage tourism, as well as the destruction of our region's maple sugar industry," they said.
"The land and the rivers, the air and the sea, belong to God, not to human beings," the bishops said. "We are part of the created order, not separated from it, and our first calling by God is to be the caretakers of creation."