Biden administration restores the “Roadless Rule,” protecting our largest National Forest
by Katie Nelson
January 25, 2023
The reinstatement of the 2001 conservation measure on the Tongass National Forest is a huge win in the face of its rollback by the Trump administration
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 25, 2023)–In response to the Biden administration’s announcement to reinstate “Roadless Rule” protections, Amy Moas, Ph.D., Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner, said: “Today, the U.S. Forest Service rescued the nation’s largest national forest, Alaska’s Tongass, from new and catastrophic surges of clearcut logging. The reinstatement of this popular 2001 conservation measure that conserves old growth is crucial for the protection of some of the last and largest remaining tracts of intact temperate rainforest in the world, as well as the wildlife and carbon it holds. And a thriving Tongass is critical to the lives and subsistence of Alaska Natives, and the local economy.”
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. In October 2020, the Trump administration moved ahead anyway and removed roadless protections, putting the nine million acres of previously protected old growth forest in jeopardy.
Moas continued: “Destructive development in this region — such as the expansive logging and road building that the Trump administration green lighted in late 2020 — would be catastrophic for generations to come. Healthy forests are our first line of defense in the fight against the growing climate emergency, and we must do everything possible to prioritize wildlife, and the wellbeing of our planet. Today’s decision does just that; however, there is more to do. Our prized wild places will not be permanently protected until Congress codifies the Roadless Area Conservation Act.”
Contact: Katie Nelson, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, [email protected], +1 678-644-1681
Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at www.greenpeace.org/usa.