Tuesday 31 January 2023

US reinstates protections of Alaskan National Forest

US reinstates protections of Alaskan National Forest

President Joe Biden has reinstated a protective law for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.

In 2020, Donald Trump, President at the time, rescinded a law that was in place for the area; stopping logging and road-building on nine million acres of land within the forest.

Local tribes have campaigned ever since to have it brought back, with fear of the impact on the nature and animals that they need for their survival.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has answered their protestations, reinstating the law.

Tongass stores a staggering 44% of the carbon dioxide held in national forests across the US, according to the Alaska Conservation Foundation – spanning close to 17 million acres.

In addition to its role as a carbon sink, the trees in the forest are home to more than 400 species of life – which means the national park has an impact not only on climate mitigation but biodiversity.

Tom Vilsack, US Agriculture Secretary, explained that the decision to ban logging and road-building has been made after taking into account the feelings of local people and the importance of fishing on tourism to the economy.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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