Environment America joins 50 organizations calling on President Biden to protect the Tongass National Forest
DENVER— Environment America joined national and local conservation groups, commercial fishing interests, and the outdoor recreation industry to submit a letter on Tuesday March 30, to the Biden administration calling for carbon-dense forests, including the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, to be specifically protected in the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The NDC is a plan for climate action that is integral to the international Paris climate agreement. It is currently being drafted by Biden’s climate team and will be presented to the United Nations later this year.
The letter was submitted to White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, White House Deputy National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi, and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
“The Tongass is often called the ‘crown jewel’ of our national forest system because it’s unique and irreplaceable,” said Ellen Montgomery, public lands campaign director with Environment America. “One of the most important roles that the Tongass plays is as a tool for combating climate change. With that in mind, why would anyone ever consider logging the remaining roadless areas? It’s obvious that the Biden administration should protect the Tongass as part of their plan to stop global warming”
The letter calls on federal climate leaders to take bold, science-based action to preserve old-growth forests as a way to address climate change. This starts with fully restoring Roadless Rule protections in the Tongass National Forest, and includes immediately ending industrial logging of other mature and old-growth forests stands and trees -- an act that should be done in consultation with Indigenous and other affected communities.
Following the delivery of this letter, new data was released during a virtual press conference that quantifies the importance of the Tongass as part of U.S. climate goals. The Biden administration is expected to release America’s NDC on Earth Day in connection to the Leaders Summit on Climate, which is scheduled for April 22 and 23.
Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment America is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.