07/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/15/2021 14:08
WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) released the following statement in response to the Department of Agriculture's announcement that they will initiate rulemaking to restore 2001 Roadless Rule protections on the Tongass National Forest:
'By restoring the Roadless Rule in Tongass National Forest, the Biden administration is taking a vital step in the protection of 9.3 million acres of beautiful wilderness and the maintenance of our Federal Trust responsibility to Indigenous communities. As the lead sponsor of the Roadless Area Conservation Act, I commend the administration for initiating this rulemaking process.
As the largest intact temperate old growth rainforest in the world, the Tongass National Forest is one of our most important tools in the fight against climate change and one of the most biodiverse areas in the United States. The protections included in the Roadless Rule will ensure that this unique resource is not disrupted by harmful roadbuilding or unnecessary destruction.
For too long, the Trump administration worked recklessly to roll back protections on many of our nation's most treasured places. This move by the Biden administration demonstrates their commitment to conservation, smart climate policy, and preserving our public lands for future generations. I look forward to continuing to work together on the Roadless Rule and other nationwide conservation initiatives.'
Rep. Ruben Gallego is a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Iraq. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee, and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.