Biden extends protections for Tongass National Forest
The decision, announced by the US Forest Service, reverses the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the roadless rule, enacted by President Bill Clinton in 2001, which banned road construction and logging in more than 9 countries, 3 million acres of forest containing old cedar, spruce and western hemlock.
The protections, announced as part of the new program of the United States Department of Agriculture Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy, also include restrictions on industrial exploitation of old stands throughout the forest. (The USDA oversees the US Forest Service.)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the proposal would provide $ 25 million for community development and allow Alaskan natives and smallholders to continue harvesting ancient trees.
“This approach will help us chart a course for long-term economic opportunities that are sustainable and reflect the rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural resources of Southeast Alaska,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to meaningful consultation with Alaska’s tribal governments and indigenous societies, and engage with local communities, partners and the state to prioritize management and investments in the region that reflect a holistic approach. of the various values present in the region. ”