Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State took a decisive stand for roadless areas across America by introducing the ‘Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2018.’ When enacted, the proposed legislation will convert the Forest Service’s enormously popular Roadless Rule into federal law. Should the legislation pass, such a transformation would establish national protection for all Inventoried Roadless Areas of the National Forest System across America, including those on the Tongass National Forest, which provide some of the most spectacular and unique roadless values anywhere.
The law would safeguard roadless areas by preventing unilateral administrative changes, such as those proposed by the State of Alaska’s in its recent petition to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Rule’s protections. Instead, it would require a change in federal law, a much more difficult undertaking, to terminate protections for roadless areas on any National Forest. This would make it more difficult for legislators like Senator Murkowski or Congressman Young to authorize wasteful, taxpayer-sponsored clearcut logging and road building in roadless areas that only benefit a marginal timber industry.
Since its adoption in 2001, the Roadless Rule has maintained the resiliency of our intact forests, provided key habitat for abundant wildlife, and safeguarded Southeast Alaska’s extraordinary salmon runs and the subsistence, commercial, and sport uses they support. Building roads on these remote and rugged lands results in tremendous costs to taxpayers and benefits only a tiny fraction (less than one percent) of the region’s workers and earnings.
Senator Cantwell is joined by 16 senators from throughout the country who have signed on as cosponsors of the bill. They join with decades of Tongass stronghearts in both houses of Congress who have stood tall for the Tongass, including by passing landmark legislation like the Tongass Timber Reform Act of 1990.
Help us say thank you! Write Senator Cantwell and the other cosponsors TODAY and thank them for working to protect all inventoried roadless areas on the National Forest System, especially those on the Tongass!
When you send your letter be sure to add a personal touch, telling them what you love about the Tongass and the wild places that mean the most to you.
By taking the time to thank Senator Cantwell and her cosponsors for their leadership you are helping us continue building a renewed coalition of stronghearts that will stand up for the Tongass and Southeast Alaska today, and into the future.
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