Biden Admin Proposes Sweeping Protections For Alaska’s Tongass Forest

"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will end large old-growth sales and bar road construction on 9.3 million acres of forest in a move that would reverse one of Donald Trump’s biggest public land decisions"

"The Biden administration announced sweeping protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest on Thursday, including an end to large-scale old-growth logging and a proposal to bar road development on more than 9 million acres.

The changes mark a major shift for a region that has relied on felling massive trees for more than a century, reversing one of former president Donald Trump’s biggest public land decisions and halting a significant source of future carbon emissions. The Tongass, part of one of the world’s last relatively intact temperate rainforests, is the only national forest where old-growth logging still takes place on an industrial scale.

The 16.7 million-acre forest — which once boasted major pulp mills but is now targeted for its fine-grain, centuries-old trees that are coveted for pricey musical instruments, expansive outdoor decks and elegant shingles — has been a political flash point for two decades. While Democrats have sought to scale back logging in the forest over time, the administration’s moves go further than any previous president’s efforts."

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post July 15, 2021.


"U.S. To Restore Protections For Alaska's Tongass Forest" (Reuters)

"Biden to Restore Protections for Tongass National Forest in Alaska" (New York Times)

"Biden Admin Restores Tongass Protections Trump Stripped" (E&E News)

"US To End Large, Old-Growth Timber Sales In Alaska Forest" (AP)

Source: Washington Post, 07/16/2021