Success: Plan to Build Highway Through Rainforest Stopped

Tongass National Forest

Target: Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Attorney Niel Lawrence

Goal: Praise the activists who stopped the plan to build a highway through a huge, old-growth forest.

Activists have halted a plan to build a disruptive, unnecessary highway through the middle of Tongass National Forest, the country’s largest forest and part of the Pacific temperate rainforest. To build the road, they would have had to spend $500 million to clear-cut through miles of uninterrupted and untouched woods, threatening multiple endangered species. Thanks to environmentalists and animal rights activists including those who signed petitions here at ForceChange, that plan was rejected.

Years ago, the Bush administration decided that the Tongass National Forest should be exempt from the “Roadless Rule” that protects essential old-growth forests from being torn apart to build roads. Activists went to court to fight this, and their previous victory has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

This ruling protected the dwindling Alexander Archipelago wolf population as well as bears, salmon, Sitka black-tailed deer, and goshawks from logging and pollution from traffic. As long as the Tongass National Forest remains protected under the Roadless Rule, logging companies and developers won’t be able to push their agendas at the expense of natural habitats. Thank the activists who worked to save our largest rainforest by signing this petition.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Lawrence,

I want to thank you for all of your efforts to protect the Tongass National Forest from a plan to build a long and unnecessary road in the middle of it. It’s been a long battle since the Bush Administration decided that the nation’s largest rainforest should be exempt from the Roadless Rule, but you’ve kept up the fight for that incredible, untouched habitat.

Building a road would have necessitated clear-cutting through the forest and disrupting the homes of endangered species like the Alexander Archipelago wolf as well as countless bears, deer, and salmon. That old-growth forest is essential for these animals to migrate and breed. There’s absolutely no way that building a road through that area could have avoided killing innocent creatures.

Hopefully this will be the end of the fight by developers to get approval to disrupt Tongass National Forest with unnecessary construction. Thank you again for all that you’ve done. Please keep up the fight for our environment and all the animal species that depend on it, including human beings.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mark Brennan

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