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Tue Oct 15, 2019, 06:15 PM

Trump administration proposes expanding logging in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.



By
Juliet Eilperin
Oct. 15, 2019 at 5:07 p.m. EDT

The Trump administration Tuesday proposed allowing logging on more than half of Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in North America.

President Trump instructed federal officials to reverse long-standing limits on tree cutting at the request of Alaska’s top elected officials, on the grounds that it will boost the local economy. But critics say that protections under the “roadless rule,” finalized just before President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, are critical to protecting the region’s lucrative salmon fishery and tourism operations.
The U.S. Forest Service said it would publish a draft environmental impact statement this week that, if enacted, would exempt the Tongass from the 2001 roadless rule.

The Post first reported the president’s plan to expand logging in the Tongass in August. The U.S. Forest Service had initially planned to make more modest changes to nearly 9.5 million acres there where roads are prohibited: Under the administration’s “preferred alternative,” that entire area would be open for development.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/trump-administration-proposes-expanding-logging-in-alaskas-tongass-national-forest/2019/10/15/92e47db8-ef77-11e9-8693-f487e46784aa_story.html

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