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Biden administration begins process to reverse Trump administration rollback on the Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest

by Katie Nelson

June 11, 2021

“This announcement is a remarkably positive step forward for the Biden administration and we hope that they will fully restore the Roadless Rule as soon as possible."

Washington, DC — Today, the Biden administration issued an agenda for upcoming regulatory actions, indicating that it will revisit the Trump administration’s disastrous rollback of the Roadless Rule in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. 

In response, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Dr. Amy Moas said: 

“This announcement is a remarkably positive step forward for the Biden administration and we hope that they will fully restore the Roadless Rule as soon as possible. As some of the last and largest remaining tracts of intact temperate rainforest in the world, the Tongass National Forest is irreplaceable. 

“Destructive development in the country’s largest national forest — such as logging and expansive road building — would be catastrophic for generations to come, harming wildlife, emitting climate harming pollution and curbing our natural ability to sequester and store carbon. Now more than ever, we need codified forest protections to protect our most stunning natural heritage and mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis. And a thriving Tongass is crucial to the lives and subsistence of Alaska Natives, and the local economy.

“We must place wildlife, recreation, and the wellbeing of our planet above the interests of wealthy elites. We hope that the Biden administration will fully reinstate the Roadless Rule, and we are calling on Congress once again to enact the Roadless Area Conservation Act. Our legislators must protect the future of our forests and planet.” 

In January 2020, the US Forest Service received a quarter of a million comments in response to the draft proposal to gut this conservation measure — 96% of which voiced support for safeguarding the Roadless Rule. The Trump administration’s rollback of the popular 2001 conservation measure in October 2020 indicated a hazardous precedent for timber industry lobbyists and politicians nationwide to exploit the nation’s most prized wild and protected areas.

Notes:

To maintain independence, Greenpeace USA does not endorse or oppose any political party, candidate, or elected official. We work to hold all candidates for office to the standard that science says is necessary to avert the climate crisis, which means supporting a Green New Deal and ending fossil fuels.

Contact:

Katie Nelson, Strategic Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected]

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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