There has been a popular topic in the news lately; the Roadless Rule. So, let’s run through some facts:
The Roadless Rule provides important protections to about 58 million acres of back country public land area throughout the United States that is managed by the United States Forest Service. These roadless areas cover 9.4 million acres of land throughout the Tongass National Forest. The Roadless Rule prohibits new road construction and commercial logging on these forested areas. Current congressionally designated lands protect only about a third of documented fish habitat, which makes Roadless Rule protections critical to our fish and wildlife habitat.
The Roadless Rule has been in place on the Tongass for nearly 20 years! During that time, Southeast Alaskans have been able to enjoy public lands, our economy has grown to be based upon our resources (fishing, tourism), not at their expense (clear-cut logging). There are many misconceptions about this, but we want to set the record straight.
The Roadless Rule is intended to keep public lands, salmon and trout habitat, and strong economies as they are today for future generations to enjoy and prosper from.
The state of Alaska has petitioned the Forest Service to undo the Roadless Rule in the Tongass. This would lead to increased road-building and industrial clear-cut, old-growth logging that harms salmon. On behalf of the fish, outdoor recreation economy and clean water that defines this region, we are calling on anglers across the country to submit comments to the Forest Service opposing these changes.
The Roadless Rule is working. It does its job in supporting community growth while sustainably maintaining resources that serve Alaskans in multiple ways. We hope you’ll join us as we stand up for common-sense policies that safeguard the trees, fish and wildlife resources that continue to provide for Americans.
For more information on the Roadless Rule, check out the Roadless 101 Blog.