Aerial view of water and forests.
Tongass National Forest Aerial view of Southeast Alaska's Tongass National Forest during flight from Prince of Wales Island to Ketchikan. © Erika Nortemann/TNC

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Administration Announces Tongass Protections

Will end large-scale old-growth logging, invest in community-led stewardship.

The Biden administration announced a series of new protections for Tongass National Forest, one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests.

The new protections include ending large-scale logging of old-growth trees, investing in sustainable economic development activities in the region, greater consultation with Indigenous communities on the management of the forest and reinstating the 2001 Roadless Rule.

This new effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will also work to complement the work already occurring on the ground to address the health of the Tongass ecosystem and the local communities that depend on it. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is among the founding members of several of those partnerships, including the Indigenous Guardians Network, the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership and the Keex’ Kwaan Community Forest Partnership. It has also been a lead partner with the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service on Joint Chiefs’ Restoration Initiatives on the Tongass National Forest. 

The following is a statement by Steve Cohn, state director of TNC’s Alaska chapter:

“The administration's move to invest in protections for the Tongass will put the region on the right path toward a sustainable future for the forest, its communities and ecosystems. We are thrilled to see the U.S. Department of Agriculture commit not only to conservation of fish and wildlife habitat but to supporting tribal stewardship and community development opportunities.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 75 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 38 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.