President Trump Wants To Lift Protections For Tongass National Forest

Trump administration wants to use Tongass National Forest for logging President Trump has announced his plan to lift protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska that will open...

(Photo: Riley)

Trump administration wants to use Tongass National Forest for logging

President Trump has announced his plan to lift protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska that will open 16.7 million acres to development projects and logging. The Tongass National Forest faces being stripped of protection laws that safeguarded the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests for nearly 20 years.

The new plan confirms that 9.3 million acres of forest will be open for road building starting Thursday. This once protected land features important natural resources including imposing fjords with a healthy population of salmon, Sitka spruce, Western hemlock, red cedar, and yellow cedar.

The Tongass National Forest has a pivotal role as a massive carbon sink and a habitat for many species of animals including Sitka black-tailed deer, Pacific salmon, Pacific trout, and the highest density of brown bears in North America. This forest habitat is America’s last climate sanctuary and the trees absorb carbon while producing more oxygen.

The Trump administration has claimed to commit to planting more trees to combat climate change with the One Trillion Tree initiative as of last week during the same time he revealed his plans on expanding login in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Several of these plans are blocked by federal judges for being illegal and the Trump administrations seem to be backing down from a 1.8 million-acre timber sale sourced from the Tongass Prince of Wales Island.


The Alaska economy is tanking from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown that had impacted the tourism rate of 1.4 million cruise tourists during the summer down to just 48 passengers. This timber deal might seem to provide short-term economic relief for the region but this deal could be a massive burden on taxpayers of Alaska.

A long-standing federal mandate costs Alaska taxpayers millions every year because companies profit from any timber sale because Forest Service covers harvesters’ costs including road construction. The timber program of Tongass lost roughly $1.7 billion over the last 40 years according to a Taxpayer for Common Sense analysis of the Forest Service’s accounts.

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