Alaska Tribes Petition to Preserve Tongass Forest Roadless Protections

"With a decision pending that is likely to open the forest to logging, tribal governments request a new rulemaking process."

"Last week, nine native Alaska tribes filed a petition calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to halt the removal of protections for the Tongass National Forest, the country's largest reserve of public woodlands, which the tribes say is vital to their livelihoods.

Currently, more than half of the forest's 16.7 million acres are protected under the Roadless Rule, which, since 2001, has prohibited road building and commercial logging in 58 million acres of U.S. forests.

But the Trump Administration is seeking to open the old-growth forest for logging and has requested that the U.S. Forest Service, part of the USDA, lift the rule from the Tongass, a process that is in its final stages. A decision is expected later this summer."

Katelyn Weisbrod reports for InsideClimate News July 31, 2020.

Source: InsideClimate News, 08/06/2020