We have sounded the alarm about this fight on several occasions — and now is the time to finish the fight. Tell the Biden administration to fully reinstate the Roadless Rule in the Tongass. Scientists call the Tongass National Forest in Alaska the “lungs of our country” because it can store over 3 billion tons of climate-warming carbon — keeping that carbon from being released into the atmosphere. However, for decades the logging industry has been given a pass to clear-cut the Tongass, turning this ancient forest into a carbon emitter. Fortunately, the legal framework exists to protect this climate-stabilizing forest. The Roadless Rule, implemented 20 years ago today, prevents clearcutting and other damaging activities in about 56 million acres of national forestland across the country, but currently doesn’t apply to the Tongass.
Under the Trump administration, the Forest Service withdrew protections for the Tongass established under the Roadless Rule and opened the door to clear-cut logging across the forest. These actions ignored the repeated requests from Alaska Native Tribes in the region urging a halt to the destruction of this essential ecosystem that supports the traditional lifeways, medicine, and food systems of the region’s indigenous communities.
Because of your efforts to raise the alarm, the Biden administration has now announced a process that will reverse the Trump action and reinstate the Roadless Rule in the Tongass to protect the integrity of North America’s largest carbon sink, but we must hold their feet to the fire -- and we need your help.
We must use our collective voice – again -- to tell the Biden administration that fully protecting the Tongass is the only option. Tell them to take decisive action to protect one of the United States’ best tools in the fight against climate change.