Statement: Forest Service to end logging, restore protections in Tongass

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON -- Reversing a Trump-era environmental threat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday a proposal to restore 2001 Roadless Rule protections on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and a new policy to end most old growth timber sales on the forest.

In October, the Trump administration stripped Roadless Rule safeguards from 9.2 million acres in the Tongass. In June, the USDA announced its intention to “repeal or replace” the Trump administration’s rollback of protections for the Tongass National Forest. The Roadless Rule, established in 2001, is intended to help keep wild spaces in our national forest system free from roads and logging. 

The Tongass provides critical habitat for wildlife including bears, birds and salmon and plays an important role as a natural tool to help stop climate change.

In response, Environment America Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery issued the following statement:

“We’re thrilled that the Biden administration recognizes the value of the Tongass for wildlife and as a natural climate change solution. We need more nature and we definitely need to protect the natural spaces that we already have. This is great news for the hundreds of species of wildlife that live in the roadless areas, the ancient trees and the people who live and visit the Tongass to hunt, fish and enjoy nature. There’s no time to waste: The 2001 Roadless Rule protections must be fully restored in the Tongass as quickly as possible.”