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July 15, 2021

U.S. Forest Service Looks to Reestablish Safeguards Against Logging in Tongass National Forest

Forest Service announcement is a win for climate

Contacts

Becca Bowe, Earthjustice, rbowe@earthjustice.org, (415) 217-2093

Juneau, AK (Tlingit / Áak’w Ḵwáan lands)

According to press reports, the U.S. Forest Service today will announce its intention to fully reinstate the Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest, reversing a sweeping Trump-era rollback that would have allowed new logging to take place across some nine million acres of temperate rainforest in Southeast Alaska. The agency will also announce plans to stop old-growth logging beyond designated Roadless areas.

Abbie Dillen, President of Earthjustice, issued the following statement in response:

“Fully undoing Trump’s attack on the Tongass and reinstating the Roadless Rule’s protections is the only acceptable path forward for America's climate forest, and we are excited the Forest Service has committed to protecting these majestic trees. If press reports are accurate that all large scale old-growth logging in the Tongass will stop, the Biden administration should be celebrated for taking a critical step in our international climate fight; the towering giant trees in the Tongass are ancient and sacred, and they are also one of the best solutions we have to climate change. In order to continue storing millions and even billions of tons of carbon and protect the biodiversity that thrives in our forests, we encourage the administration to adopt a similar policy across our National Forest and Department of Interior system to ensure all of our old growth and other critical forest stands nationwide are conserved, instead of being auctioned off to the timber industry.”

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