Biden-Harris Administration Finalizes Protections for Tongass National Forest

1 day ago YubaNet

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2023 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today finalized protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. USDA’s final rule, announced today, repeals the 2020 Alaska Roadless Rule and restores longstanding roadless protections to 9.37 million acres of roadless areas that support the ecological, economic and cultural values of Southeastern Alaska. On his first day in office, President Biden committed to reviewing rules – such as the 2020 Alaska Roadless Rule – that may conflict with important national objectives including protecting the environment. “As our nation’s largest national forest and the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass National Forest is key to conserving biodiversity and addressing the climate crisis,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Repealing the 2020 Alaska Roadless Rule, which exempted the Tongass from roadless protections, will return the inventoried roadless areas of the forest to management under the 2001 Roadless Rule, which prohibits road construction, reconstruction, and timber harvest in inventoried roadless areas, with limited exceptions.
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