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Gallego, DeGette Slam Administration Decision to Strip Protections from Tongass National Forest in Alaska

September 25, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, the U.S. Forest Service released its Final Environmental Impact Statement exempting the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the 2001 Roadless Rule, despite broad opposition in Southeast Alaska and across the country.

“The Forest Service’s decision to strip roadless protections from Tongass National Forest is deeply misguided, and it threatens the very future of this national treasure,” said Rep Ruben Gallego. “Tongass National Forest is home to Alaska Native Tribes, it is an essential tool in our fight against climate change, and it is the lifeblood of the Southeast Alaskan economy. This place should be protected for future generations to enjoy, not opened up to logging and destructive roadbuilding to serve a political agenda.”

“The Roadless Rule is one of the most broadly supported environmental policies in this country,” said Rep. DeGette. “The Trump administration’s decision to publish this final rule in an affront to all those who understand the value of preserving our public lands. It’s beyond time for Congress to act to protect this important rule – any further delay may be too late.”

Reps. Gallego and DeGette introduced the Roadless Area Conservation Act in the House last year to permanently protect millions of acres of pristine national forests by codifying the Roadless Rule across the country.