In a never-ending effort to open what seems to be all of the U.S.’s pristine wild lands to industry, the Trump administration is seeking to end road building restrictions to allow for logging in the country’s largest intact temperate rain forest in North America, imperiling wildlife.
The U.S. Forest Service has prepared a draft environmental study on lifting a Clinton-era roadless rule in Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest , one of the most pristine old-growth regions in the world, The New York Times reported. The study listed several options regarding the forest including maintaining restrictions on 80 percent of area currently protected by the roadless rule, opening up about 2 million acres, or lifting all road rule restrictions, which the Forest Service said was the preferred option.
Temperate forests help sequester carbon dioxide, keeping climate warming gases out of the atmosphere. Logging in the forests not only impacts the climate but when trees are felled, the soil is loosened and mud can wash into rivers and choke fish, such as the wild salmon in the region.
“The constant attempt to destroy pristine ecosystems by the current administration for the sake of logging and other corporate interests is reaching a crisis level,’’ said Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral. “Disrupting wildlife habitats and forest growth immediately imperils species living there and will stem any mitigation the forest provides of an already escalating climate crises. Our Forest Service is supposed to be protecting our lands, not caving to greed. FoA will continue to resist this.”
The public will be able to submit comments with the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, until Dec. 17 and certainly this is something FoA members should jeer.
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