The Trump administration just removed crucial protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, opening the door to clear-cutting of countless century-old trees at the behest of the logging industry. Alaska Natives such as the Tlingit, who have stewarded the land since time immemorial, asked the administration to delay until the pandemic is contained and tribal leaders have the bandwidth to engage with the process — and they were ignored, to the detriment of tribes, the public, and our climate. Please join us in telling Congress to protect the Tongass by passing the Roadless Area Conservation Act.
The Tongass National Forest in Alaska is a rare temperate rainforest. It provides vital habitat for eagles, bears, wolves, salmon, and numerous other species. The Tlingit rely upon its lands and waters for their way of life and culture. Its wild salmon support a commercial fishery central to the local economy. And visitors from around the world travel to the Tongass for world-class recreation, hunting, sport, and fishing. The Tongass is America’s Amazon — a vast and priceless carbon reserve that must be protected to battle climate change.
These unique and irreplaceable values of the Tongass National Forest have been protected by the Roadless Rule, one of the most popular conservation measures of the last century. Implemented in 2001, the Roadless Rule prevents clearcutting and other damaging activities in about 56 million acres of national forestland across the country. Nevertheless, the Trump administration directed the Forest Service to exempt the Tongass from the Roadless Rule.
The Tongass’ rich wildlife and majestic forest stands, the vital sustainable industries dependent on the healthy forest, the rights of indigenous peoples in Southeast Alaska, and our national imperative to fight climate change should take precedence over the demands of a few corporations and their lobbyists wanting to open some of the last remaining old-growth temperate rainforests in the country to clear-cut logging.
Tell Congress to stop the Forest Service from putting corporate profits above the public interest and to protect our national forests, our air, and our water for future generations!