Preserve Our Forests

Letter to USDA: Time to protect the Tongass


Ian D. Keating | CC-BY-2.0
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Environment America joined a letter addressed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging the Forest Service to follow through and restore the Roadless Rule for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest in November.

The letter says “the Roadless Rule is sensible policy for Alaska and our nation alike, because of the biodiversity, climate, and sustainable local uses that the rule protects. Past logging roads and construction have fragmented wildlife habitat in certain areas of Southeast Alaska, especially on Prince of Wales Island, leaving behind centuries of impacts as corporations chased short-term profits from industrial-scale old growth clear cutting. This has created the need for numerous restoration projects, as old roads fall into disrepair thus impeding salmon passage and harming water quality. Action to reinstate the Roadless Rule recognizes that these highly impactful extractive practices of the past do not define a positive future for Southeast Alaska. The region’s economy has already transitioned away from industrial-scale logging, in favor of more sustainable industries like tourism, recreation, and fishing. This sustainable economy, along with cultures that have been built around clean water, abundant wildlife populations, and intact forests, makes restoring the Roadless Rule essential for securing a better future for Southeast Alaska.”

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