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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tongass National Forest Victory for NRDC

Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) announced a great victory recently for the Tongass National Forest.
With the Legal Assistance of Earthjustice, the NRDC has achieved a legal victory, protecting the Tongass National Forest from destruction from logging in their "Save Bio-Gems" campaign. The victory reinstates the "roadless rule" put in place by President Clinton at the end of his administration. The Tongass is a very significant National Forest in SE Alaska and is one of the largest stands of old-growth and temperate "rain forest" left in the world.

Millions of wild acres in Tongass protected from logging

March 2011
In a tremendous victory for our Alaskan rainforest, a federal judge in Alaska ruled in favor of protecting 9.5 million acres of roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest from harmful logging and roadbuilding. After the Bush Administration exempted pristine stretches of the Tongass from the landmark 2001 "Roadless Rule," which barred timber sales and logging roads in undisturbed areas of national forests, NRDC and our allies headed to court to fight that exemption. Last month, the court ruled in our favor, restoring protections for the Tongass. Our BioGems Defenders have been with us every step of the way in the fight to keep logging out of the Tongass, America's largest remaining temperate rainforest.
In a message to supporters the NRDC announced -
"Great news about one of our longest running BioGems campaigns. 

A federal judge in Alaska has ruled in our favor and protected 9.5 million acres of wild, roadless areas in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from destructive logging and road building.

We’ve been fighting this courtroom battle alongside Earthjustice since 2003, when the Bush Administration illegally exempted the Tongass from the landmark Roadless Rule, which safeguards the last undisturbed stretches of our national forests. 
Tongass National Forest
ph credit - NRDC
A decade ago, activists like you generated hundreds of thousands of petitions that helped persuade the Clinton Administration to establish the Roadless Rule in the first place.

Then, your financial support made it possible for us to wage an eight-year legal battle that has produced this historic win for America’s greatest temperate rainforest.

Thanks to you, the towering old-growth stands of the wild Tongass -- along with its incomparable populations of grizzlies, wolves and bald eagles -- will be spared from an onslaught of chain saws and bulldozers. 

This hard-fought victory captures the never-say-die spirit of BioGems campaigns at their very best. It is proof positive that you are part of a powerful and effective voice for the wild. Thank you for helping save the Tongass! 


  1. Wow! This Earthjustice legal group sure is tenacious and dedicated to Mother Earth. Haven't they've also been working to protect things like salmon by helping to make sure the old, useless dams that have been decimating salmon runs, are taken out? Go Earthjustice!

  2. The Tongass in currently under threat in the form of SB-881, the Sealaska land bill. It was covered by the Los Angeles Times last year:

    The article here is OLD news, and most of the work was done by SEACC.