The US Department of Agriculture announced this month the end of large-scale sales of old timber in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, “returning stability and certainty” to the conservation of 9.3 million acres of temperate rainforest. biggest in the world.
The USDA will also take steps to restore the two-decade-old ‘Roadless Rule’ protections in Tongass, which were removed in 2020 by the Trump administration.
In this unique landscape, the humidity of the Pacific Ocean collides with towering coastal mountains on the Canadian border to create lush greenery and thick ancient forest that stretches for 500 miles in the extreme south of the state. About the size of West Virginia, the land is littered with islands and salmon streams, where granite cliffs drop into deep fjords.
“We look forward to meaningful consultation with tribal governments and Alaska Native corporations, and working with local communities, partners, and the state to prioritize management and investments in the region that reflect a holistic approach,” said the Secretary of State. States Tom Vilsack.
“This approach will help us chart the path to long-term economic opportunities that are sustainable and reflect the rich cultural heritage and magnificent natural resources of Southeast Alaska,” he added.
There were tentative logging plans for three major crops over 15,750 acres on Forest Service land, but environmental analyzes were never completed, so Biden administration officials said these sales would not go through.
USDA actions to preserve temperate rainforest are “critical to sequestering carbon, addressing the climate crisis, and maintaining the productivity and health of the region’s fisheries and fishing industry,” said a department statement. “It stores more carbon than any other national forest in the United States.”
The Tongass National Forest is of international importance as the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, accounting for nearly one-third of all remaining primary forests. It contains more biomass per acre than any other rainforest in the world and is home to more than 400 species, including 5 species of salmon that return to spawn in Tongass each year.
Sales of small and old micro crops will still be offered to the indigenous community for cultural uses such as totem poles and canoes.
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