Last year, President Biden proposed reinstating the Roadless Rule, which protects 58 million acres of national forest lands from logging, roadbuilding, and mineral leasing. This includes 17 million acres of the Tongass, a natural rainforest in southeast Alaska.
The Tongass helps significantly with sequestering carbon — the Tongass contains 44 percent of all carbon stored by US national forests. This has caused some to call it the “lungs of North America.”
But the Tongass is in jeopardy.
Because of a “land exchange” loophole, private interests have been able to bypass the Roadless Rule and continue harmful logging practices. Essentially, land exchanges authorized by Congress take lands out of federal protection and gives them back into the care of their home state or private interests in exchange for a different tract of land. Sometimes these exchanges give away the federal government’s old growth forest in trade for clear cut land.
In short, parts of the Tongass are still not protected by the Forest Service despite the Roadless Rule.
SEEC members are working on advocating for the Biden Administration to put even stronger protections for the Tongass in place, but they need your help. Will you contribute today so they know you have their back?
The Biden Administration has already made great strides in protecting the Tongass, but there is still more to be done. The Tongass is a beautiful, important part of America’s ecosystem, and the Biden Administration has the power to put even stronger protections in place.