White House [Public Domain]
The Trump administration has opened the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging.
According to The Hill:
The Trump administration on Wednesday lifted protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, a move that will expand logging in the nation’s largest old-growth forest.
A notice posted in the Federal Register lifts the so-called Roadless Rule for the Tongass, a Clinton-era prohibition on road construction and timber harvesting on many Forest Service lands.
Under the Trump administration’s changes, the nearly 9.4 million acres of inventoried roadless land in Tongass Forest would once again be considered suitable timberlands.
It’s a major blow to environmental efforts to protect one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests–the Forest Service found in 2016 that it stores more carbon than any other forest in the country.
The projection is for 1.8 million acres to be logged. The argument is sediment from this will runoff into streams and harm the salmon population.