Here in Washington State, we hold our wild lands in very high respect. From the Pacific Coast to the Columbia River, our public lands define Washington as a beautiful and desirable place to call home. We are known for our driving spirit to protect these wild places that sustain and nurture us. And today, your voice is needed once again to Save our Wild Forests!
The Trump Administration is stepping up its assault on our public lands. On October 15, 2019, the Administration announced their plan to allow excessive logging, road building, and other industrial development in the wildest places left in the United States by dismantling a two-decade-old policy known as the “Roadless Rule.”
The 2001 National Forest Roadless Area Conservation Rule is one of our nation’s bedrock conservation protections intended to safeguard more than 58 million acres of wild national forests. This rule was created through extensive public input, with an overwhelming majority supporting protections for roadless areas.
Now, the Trump Administration is seeking to chip away at Roadless Rule protections starting in the world’s largest remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest – Alaska’s iconic Tongass National Forest.
The Roadless Rule protects 58 million acres of breathtaking, undeveloped roadless land throughout the national forest system, including more than 9 million acres in the Tongass. Here’s why that matters:
Wild forests are a defense against climate change
As Greenland melts and the Amazon burns, the Trump Administration is taking aim at the largest national forest in the country. That is a problem because the Tongass stores more climate-disrupting pollution in its old growth forests and rich soils than any other national forest in the United States – earning its name, “America’s Climate Forest.”
Roadless areas support thriving populations of fish and wildlife
The Tongass supports healthy salmon runs for all 5 species of Pacific salmon, as returns across Washington State continue to show declines. Logging and road building pose major threats to salmon populations and all those who rely on them, including Southern Resident orca.
Defending the Roadless Rule protects Washington State’s wild places
Nearly 2 million acres in Washington State are protected under the Roadless Rule, including large swaths of Wenatchee-Okanagan National Forest, the Dark Divide in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and South Quinault Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula – all magnificent places that shape our legacy as a wild and green state. We know that these sweeping “exemptions” to the Roadless Rule will not stop with Alaska. Others will follow, as Utah already has expressed intent to do.
Washington Wild will be leading the local opposition to the extreme proposal. Will you join us in standing up for our wild forests, in Alaska and your own backyard? Submit a formal comment to the U.S. Forest Service today asking that they uphold the Roadless Rule and protect the Tongass National Forest from irreparable harm. Together, we can make our voice heard and defend our wild forests.
Join our team! Washington Wild is looking for a passionate and skilled individual to work with members of the Olympic Forest Collaborative to help support and coordinate their work in restoration forestry and aquatic restoration projects in the Olympic National Forest. The Olympic Forest Collaborative Coordinator provides coordination and facilitation support for members of the […]
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