Biden Reverses One of Trump’s ‘Most Reckless and Irresponsible’ Decisions

Home Technology Biden Reverses One of Trump’s ‘Most Reckless and Irresponsible’ Decisions
Biden Reverses One of Trump’s ‘Most Reckless and Irresponsible’ Decisions
Tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest.
Tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest.
Photo: Charles Rex (AP)

Conservation advocates are gearing up for a major win. On Friday, the Forest Service said it would “repeal or replace” a Trump-era rollback that allows companies to build roads and other infrastructure in much of America’s largest national forest. It could be biggest victory for public lands the Biden administration has delivered yet—if the details pan out.

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Three months before leaving office, President Trump opened up more than half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, to road building, logging, mining, and other development. That decision reversed protections under the Alaska Roadless Rule, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 2001. The new development was first reported by the Washington Post.

“Taking an axe to Tongass old-growth protections was among the most reckless and irresponsible of the previous administration’s environmental rollbacks. Indigenous communities, hunters and anglers, the tourism and fishing industries, those who care about protecting our planet’s biodiversity and climate—all opposed removing roadless protections on the Tongass,” Andy Moderow, Alaska director of the Alaska Wilderness League, said in a statement.

If Biden puts the 20-year-old protections back on the books, it could mean the Tongass will once again be shielded from destructive industry, protecting the people and wildlife who call it home. But as Moderow pointed out, the White House hasn’t said exactly what protections it will instate.

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