Keeping track of efforts to save the “Roadless Rule” in Alaska hasn’t been easy.
But if you one day hope to visit the Tongass National Forest, nicknamed “America’s Salmon Forest,” or if you value public lands — and the jobs, cultures and recreation they sustain — you’ll want to tune in. The Roadless Rule in Alaska’s national norests could be overturned in 2020, putting places we as anglers hold most dear at risk.
Here’s the gist of it: 90 percent of the communities within the Tongass in Southeast Alaska spoke up in favor of the Roadless Rule. They said they want safeguards for their backyard forest.
Despite this, Alaska’s Gov. Mike Dunleavy and President Trump made deals behind closed doors that jeopardize those safeguards for Tongass fish, wildlife and recreation opportunities, and the communities that depend on them.
Elected decision makers in Alaska are working to increase industrial clear-cut logging of old-growth trees in undeveloped, wild areas of the Tongass called ‘roadless’ areas. These logging activities are harmful to fish and wildlife, come at great taxpayer expense, and threaten the economy and way of life in Southeast Alaska — not to mention some of the best fishing on the planet.
Despite that the Roadless Rule is flexible —- allowing communities within the forest to obtain exemptions for every single infrastructure, transportation, mining and energy project that’s been proposed in roadless areas — the state of Alaska has bent over backwards to serve the old-growth logging industry in its quest to overturn the popular conservation measures.
Roadless areas in the Tongass are what make the Alaskan “backyard” a unique treasure that is worth protecting. Sign-on to help and once we’re all able to travel again, make sure to put the Tongass on your bucket list – you won’t regret it!