Virtual rally will support Roadless Rule in Tongass

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and more than a dozen other entities are hosting a virtual rally on Thursday, Jan. 20, in support of restoring Roadless Rule protections to the Tongass National Forest.

The stated purpose of the rally is to showcase the beauty, diversity, economic vitality, and cultural vibrancy of the nearly 17 million acres of the national forest. Organizers hope to encourage Alaskans to speak out in favor of reinstating essential protections to the Tongass.

The one-hour event is set to begin at 4 p.m. Alaska standard time, live, via ZOOM and on Facebook.

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On Nov. 23, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials announced a 60-day comment period, to allow for discussion on reinstatement of the national Roadless Rule. The public has been able to submit official comments on the Biden administration’s decision to move to repeal the Trump-era so-called “Alaska-specific” Roadless Rule, which removed 2001 national Roadless Rule protections from the Tongass.

Participating entities along with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council include the Native Movement, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, Environment America, Alaska Environment, Environmental Action, Student Public Interest Research Groups, The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Audubon Alaska, Alaska Wilderness League and the Center for Biological Diversity.