The U.S. Forest Service is currently accepting public comments on how to manage the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, including restoring protections provided by the Roadless Rule established under President Bill Clinton.
The 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest is one of the largest intact temperate rainforests on Earth and a critical tool in our nation’s fight against climate change. Unfortunately, days before the 2020 election, the Trump administration stripped roadless area protections for over nine million acres of the Tongass—opening the door for logging and roadbuilding within old-growth forests of Sitka spruce, yellow and red cedar, and western hemlock.
While not perfect, the 2001 Roadless Rule does limit logging and road construction across 58 million acres of public lands throughout the country, which made it a key target of the Trump administration’s persistent efforts to remove long-standing environmental safeguards.
The Tongass is one of America’s most important national forests for removing and storing carbon from the atmosphere. Preserving old-growth forest habitats on the Tongass is critical in the global effort to prevent worsening climate change.
Restoring Roadless Rule protections and preserving old-growth forests on the Tongass will not only uphold a vital natural climate crisis solution, but will demonstrate support for the 58 million acres of roadless wildlands throughout the country.
Help secure wildland protections, preserve old-growth forests, and support the Roadless Rule by submitting a comment to the Forest Service today!