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Why I support Trump’s proposal to lift restrictions in the Tongass

1 19 0
26.09.2019

Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, represents Alaska in the U.S. Senate and is chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

News that President Trump may seek to exempt Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from the Clinton-era “roadless rule,” opening up more of the region to potential development, has met with the typical alarm from the president’s critics. So it’s time to set the record straight and explain why every statewide elected official in Alaska supports an exemption from the regulation.

The Tongass, the largest national forest in the United States at 16.7 million acres, is larger than West Virginia. Located in southeast Alaska, it is an archipelago and comprises more than 80 percent of the regional land base. It is overwhelmingly road-free, unlogged, rich in wildlife and, despite what you may have read, will remain so even if exempted from the roadless rule.

That’s because protecting the unique roadless values within the Tongass has long been a priority in southeast Alaska and nationally. Congress has enshrined many of those protections in law, designating 5.7 million acres of wilderness and another 728,000 acres that are managed in a roadless state to maintain........

© Washington Post