Conservation and climate action groups on Thursday applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement of far-reaching new protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, as well as the restoration of a key rule that former President Donald Trump rescinded. three months before leaving office in an attempt to open millions of acres to industrial logging.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack saying The administration would re-enforce the Roadless Areas Conservation Rule, also known as the Roadless Rule, which Trump exempted Alaska in a move that outraged indigenous communities in the region, as well as environmental defenders.
“The towering giant trees in Tongass are ancient and sacred, and they are also one of the best solutions we have for climate change.”
—Abbie Dillen, Earthjustice
With the rule back in effect, companies will once again be banned from road construction and large-scale logging in more than half of the 16-million-acre forest, which includes five million acres of old trees like Sitka firs. Return date at least 800 years.
The forest it serves as a habitat for more than 400 species of wildlife and …