A sign marks the way to the late naturalist John Muir’s cabin on Auk Nu Trail in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The Biden administration moved Thursday to reverse the Trump administration’s dismantling of protections in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. The U.S Department of Agriculture announced its intent to “ repeal or replace ” a Trump-era rule that obliterated protections for Tongass by lifting Clinton-era logging restrictions across 9.3 million forested acres and reclassifying 188,000 acres, including 168,000 acres of old-growth timber, as immediately suitable for harvesting. While the agency’s announcement was limited on details, it said it will end large-scale commercial logging of old-growth timber within the forest and instead “focus management resources to support forest restoration, recreation and resilience, including for climate, wildlife habit and watershed improvement.” Limited harvesting of old-growth trees would be permitted for community and cultural use, including for constructing totem poles and canoes. “This approach will help us chart the path to long-term economic opportunities that are sustainable and reflect Southeast Alaska’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent natural resources,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. The agency also plans to invest $25 million in community and […]

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