Sep 26, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Trump administration to expand logging, development in Tongass National Forest

Tongass National Forest
Photo: Sergi Reboredo/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Trump administration on Friday announced in a revised environmental impact study that it will permit expanded logging and development in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Why it matters: The forest covers approximately 25,000 square miles and has been largely protected since the Clinton administration, per NPR. The final rule makes 168,000 acres of old growth in the forest available for timbering, in addition to 20,000 acres of young growth.

  • The timber industry argues that the forest provides vital inventory and flexibility. Climate activists argue the forest is key in battling climate change, as its dense tree population serves as a carbon storage space.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Amy Harder: When Trump won the White House in 2016, conventional wisdom suggested he would focus only on repealing regulatory and executive actions by former President Barack Obama.

  • This move is the latest example of how Trump is reaching much further back into history to repeal other pro-environmental executive actions.

What we're watching: Like most executive actions, if former Vice President Joe Biden wins in November, this move is likely to be reversed.

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