The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ian Brickey,

Biden Administration Restores Protections for Tongass National Forest

Today, the Biden administration reinstated the so-called 'roadless rule' to fully restore environmental protections to Tongass National Forest in Alaska. The move once again safeguards the remaining areas of southeast Alaska’s unroaded forests from destructive logging and road-building, extends new protections for the forest, and dedicates $25 million in federal spending to local sustainable development in Alaska.

The Tongass is the traditional and current homelands of Tsimshian, Tlingit, and Haida. It contains some of the last remaining temperate old-growth rainforest in the world and is a hub for tourism, fishing, and outdoor recreation in Southeast Alaska. It is also America’s largest forest storehouse of carbon.

Communities in Southeast Alaska and across the country overwhelmingly criticized the decision by ex-President Trump in 2020 to exempt the Tongass from Roadless Rule protections because it threatened local economies, wildlife, and the climate.

In response, Chris Hill, Senior Director of Sierra Club's Our Wild America campaign, issued the following statement:

“The Tongass is often referred to as ‘our nation’s climate forest’ for its ability to store carbon and protect us from the worst impacts of climate change. Thanks to today’s reinstatement of the Roadless Rule in Alaska, millions of acres of this valuable ecosystem will once again be protected – as will its supply of clean water, critical wildlife habitat, and carbon stores.

“We are proud to stand with Indigenous leaders and local Alaskans who have been championing the effort to restore these critical protections for the Tongass.”

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

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