The Roadless Area Conservation Rule (Roadless Rule) safeguards roughly 15 million acres of roadless forest lands in the Tongass – America’s largest national forest and temperate rainforest – and Chugach national forests of Alaska. These publicly owned and managed areas in our national forests have been protected to conserve watersheds, wildlife habitat and recreational values for the last twenty years. Now, because of the petition submitted by the state of Alaska, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering removing these protections.

Changing the Roadless Rule for Alaska could irreversibly threaten national forest lands across the state, from ancient forests including thousand-year-old Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and western red cedar. The Tongass is also home to endemic species including brown bear, wolf, eagles, black-tailed deer, and world-class salmon habitat that support commercial and recreational fisheries. Once our roadless areas are gone, they’re gone forever.