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Public Affairs

Insight Into The Forest Service's Ruling on Road Building in Tongass National Forest

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In this epsisode of This Green Earth Chris and Nell are joined by Ken Rait the Project Director for U.S. Public Lands and Rivers Conservation with the Pew Charitable Trusts. Ken leads work to conserve western lands, including collaborating with local partners and the Bureau of Land Management to balance conservation and development. 

The Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the largest national forest in the U.S., is slated to lose key protections for more than half of its 16.7 million acres.   Specifically, the U.S. Forest Service has proposed exempting 9.2 million acres from the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, a move that would allow more commercial logging and construction of new logging roads in areas that now have no roads or other development.  

The agency is moving ahead with this decision, despite opposition from a majority of Alaskans, Southeast Alaska Native tribes, salmon fishers, outdoor recreation and tourism businesses.  Ken discusses this decision and it's environmental and economic impacts.