The Tongass National Forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, salmon, brown bears and wolves. Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty ImagesEnvironment United States
Big Win for Nature: Over Nine Million Acres of Land Now Protected Here
A new federal rule in the United States protects more than nine million acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from road construction and timber harvests.
“The Tongass National Forest is key to conserving biodiversity and addressing the climate crisis. Restoring roadless protections listens to the voices of tribal nations and the people of southeast Alaska while recognizing the importance of fishing and tourism to the region’s economy,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The Tongass is nearly 17 million acres in total, and together with Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, the two make up the largest temperate rainforest on the planet. 400 different species of wildlife call the Tongass home, and many rare earth minerals are found within. What’s more, the forest itself is a crucial component in combatting climate change. The “roadless rule” is critical to ensuring the habitat remains intact rather than getting fragmented into smaller sections which could wreak havoc on its inhabitants.