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Chair Grijalva Statement on Forest Service’s Newly Announced Roadless Rule Exemption for Tongass National Forest: “This is Putting Polluters Over People”

09.24.20

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the U.S. Forest Service’s newly announced upcoming publication of a Final Environmental Impact Statement that will exempt the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the 2001 Roadless Rule.

“The Trump administration just opened up one of the world’s biggest carbon sinks to more resource extraction and ignored overwhelming public opposition in order to do it. This is what America looks like when those in power put polluters over people. The Tongass is one of our country’s most important national forests to preserve for future generations, and the administration is proposing to clear-cut it without any concern for local objections, Alaska Native tribal input, climate impacts or irreplaceable fish and wildlife.”

Of the public comments considered on a draft of the proposal, 96 percent indicated a preference for retaining the 2001 Roadless Rule on the Tongass National Forest and approximately 1 percent favored exempting the Tongass, as the administration has now done.

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