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November 12, 2019

USFS, Lawmakers to Hear Alaska Native, Southeast Alaskan Perspectives on Newest Threat to Tongass National Forest

A broad range of stakeholders facing harm from proposed Roadless Rule exemption travel to D.C. to explain impact


Rebecca Bowe, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2093

Corey Himrod, Alaska Wilderness League, (202) 266-0426

Gwen Dobbs, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0269

Osprey Orielle-Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), (415) 722-2104

Washington, D.C.

Tribal leaders and Indigenous people from Southeast Alaska, whose ancestral homelands include the 17 million-acre expanse known today as the Tongass National Forest, will participate in several events on Capitol Hill this week as part of an effort to protect the temperate rainforest from new logging threats. The old-growth temperate rainforest is the homelands of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people. The U.S. Forest Service, under the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Agriculture, has proposed exempting the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule, a safeguard that has prevented roadbuilding and industrial logging since the Clinton era.

A diverse set of stakeholders will voice support for keeping federal Roadless Rule protections in place in Southeast Alaska. A House subcommittee will hear from tribal leaders as well as representatives of the commercial fishing industry and taxpayer advocates.


Media seeking to understand the impacts of the proposed Roadless Rule rollback on Southeast Alaska will have several opportunities to learn more and interview delegates.

  • On Wednesday, November 13, from 2-4pm at the Longworth House Office Building 1324, a House Natural Resources subcommittee will hold a hearing to examine the impacts of removing Roadless protections from national forests, especially the Tongass National Forest. 

  • On Wednesday, November 13, from 5:30-7:30pm at 2045 Rayburn House Office Building, reporters may attend a Tongass National Forest Congressional Reception. This is an opportunity to meet with and interview Alaska Native people and others who are concerned about the rollback.

  • On Thursday, November 14, from 4:30-6:30pm at the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol (Congressional Ballroom II), 550 C St. SW, the U.S. Forest Service will host a public meeting to solicit feedback on the proposal to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule.


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