NEWYou can now listen or download Fox News articles
The Biden administration on Friday is expected to propose a rule that aims to reinstate the ban on roads in about half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest that some state leaders say will hurt economic growth, according to a report.
The Washington Post, citing two individuals with knowledge of the Agriculture Department’s U.S. Forest Service’s proposal, said the move– if approved– would reinstate the restrictions wiped out by the Trump administration.
About 9.4 million of Tongass’ 16.7 million acres are considered roadless areas. Tongass’ majority is in a natural state, and the forest is one the most intact, large-scale temperate rainforests in the globe.
According to the Forest Service, many of the roadless areas are habitats for wildlife, ecosystems, and natural areas such as old-growth temperate forests, ice fields, glaciers, and islands facing open ocean.
According to the Post, the Biden team stated last summer that it wanted to repeal a rule that allowed roads in the park. This was a rule that was ended by the Trump administration.
In June, Sens. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, Republicans, issued a statement criticizing Biden’s move. They stated that a one-size fits all Roadless Rule “restricts access needed for tourism and recreation, timber, mining and transportation, as well as the development of renewable energies.”
They stated that any action to repeal the final rules and reimpose roadless rules will result in loss of jobs, income, high energy prices, and a reduction in the ability for the region to develop a sustainable, all-year-round economy.
Fox News sent an after-hours email to Murkowski’s office, but they did not respond immediately.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican from the state, said to the Post that a congressional delegation representing Alaska had lobbied for Trump’s administration to exempt Alaska.
“Our state’s Southeast communities need fundamental access, like roads, and the economic and resource development opportunities roads provide. Every Alaskan should have the chance to work. We have the resources. Dunleavy stated that all we need is the opportunity.
According to the paper, President George W. Bush tried to reverse the Clinton-era policy which made more than half the park inaccessible to logging.
FOX NEWS APP
Tom Vilsack, Biden’s agriculture secretary, told the paper, “Restoring the Tongass’ roadless protections supports the advancement of economic, ecologic and cultural sustainability in Southeast Alaska in a manner that is guided by local voices and builds on the region’s economic drivers of tourism and fishing.”
This report was compiled by the Associated Press
Source: Fox News