Tell the Bush Administration you oppose their plans to exempt the Tongass and Chugach National Forests in Alaska from the Roadless Rule!

Public comment period extended to September 2nd!

This extension appears to be because the agency failed to provide timely response to those who requested more detailed information about plans to take the Tongass and Chugach out of the Roadless Rule.

The Issue:

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule, enacted by President Clinton in 2001, protects more than 58 million acres of pristine forestland in America from development.  The Bush administration has taken the first procedural swipe at the landmark Roadless Rule by proposing to strip protections from America's rainforest in Alaska - fully one-quarter of the lands protected by the Rule. The official notice appeared in the Federal Register and kicks off two, simultaneous 30-day public comment periods on the administration's proposed exemptions of the Tongass and Chugach National Forests in Alaska from the Roadless Rule.

The Rainforest comment periods are the first opportunity the public has to officially comment on the Bush administration's attempts to gut the Roadless Rule. The administration is also expected, later this year, to propose to allow state governors to apply for exemptions from the Roadless Rule in their states. During development of the Rule, 2.2 million public comments were received in favor of enacting the conservation policy. More Americans took part in this rulemaking process than in any other federal rulemaking in history. Yet despite pledges to uphold the Roadless Rule, the Bush administration is moving to dismantle it.

In anticipation of the Roadless Rule exemptions, the administration has already been planning for more industrial-scale logging in the Tongass. It has already scheduled close to 50 timber sales in roadless areas protected the Rule. These sales would effectively take the best of what's left in the Tongass. Over 70 percent of the biggest and best trees have already been clearcut in the Tongass.

Be sure to send copies of your letters to each address listed so that it will be counted for each of the two simultaneous official comment periods!