WASHINGTON (PM) — President Trump has directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to excuse Alaska’s 16.7-million-acre Tongass National Forest from logging constraints required nearly 20 years ago, Washington Post reports.
The move would alter more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, exposing it to inherent logging, energy and mining projects. It would undermine a comprehensive Clinton administration policy known as the “roadless rule,” which has survived a decades-long legal assault.
Trump has germinated a personal interest in “forest management,” a title he told a group of lawmakers last year he has “redefined” since taking office.
Politicians have fought for years over the fate of the Tongass National Forest, in both Republican and Democratic administrations. President Bill Clinton set limits to logging just days before leaving office in 2001. President George W. Bush attempted to change that policy, holding a handful of timber sales in the Tongass before a federal judge restored the Clinton rule, known as the “roadless rule.”