Tongass National Forest, reprise
Trump is intent on despoiling Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate forest in the world. Tongass covers over 16 million acres, and under Clinton it was (and currently still is) protected by the “Roadless Rule,” which prohibits logging and the building of roads within the forest. Trump’s USDA Forest Service wants to remove half of Tongass from protection, which would open the area up to the danger of clear cutting. Although Governor Dunleavy and Senator Murkowski are in favor of the rule change, saying that Alaska’s economy is being stymied by the limitation on logging, in fact a very small proportion of Alaska’s economy depends on logging, the most significant sectors being fisheries and tourism. The USDA will be accepting public comments on six alternative plans, ranging from not changing the rule at all to their preferred plan of unrestricted open season on half of Tongass.
If you didn’t already email or mail your comments to USDA (or even if you did), the public comment page on the USDA site is now open. You can leave your comments on this page. (Scroll down the page to find the form.) Share the page on social media.