Protect the Tongass: Keep Our Public Lands Public


The Tongass National Forest is our home.

The public lands of the Tongass are important for all Americans, but theyre essential for those of us who live here. This is where our families hunt, fish, gather food, and work on the land in ways that just aren't possible anywhere else in the country. The Roadless Rule protects over 9 million acres of public lands on the Tongass, areas that we rely on to feed our families and support our economic livelihoods. 

But Alaska's State Government wants to remove the Roadless Rule.

The State of Alaska, Alaska’s Congressional Delegation, and the timber industry have fought the 2001 Roadless Rule since its inception. The State of Alaska has already lost multiple lawsuits regarding the Rule’s application on the Tongass.

With the Trump administration, the State saw a new opportunity to open up more land to clearcut old-growth forests. On August 30th, 2018, Alaska submitted a petition to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to create an Alaska-specific Roadless Rule. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) scoping process kicked off a 45-day public comment period accompanied by 19 public ‘information’ meetings conducted by the Forest Service throughout Southeast Alaska communities, Anchorage, and Washington D.C., which ended on October 15th, 2018. Over 140,000 comments were submitted, with the vast majority of the comments in favor of keeping the 2001 Roadless Rule in effect on the Tongass. 

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will make the final decision on the Alaska Roadless Rule. He needs to understand that Southeast Alaskans want to KEEP THE 2001 ROADLESS RULE ON THE TONGASS. A sustainable Alaska is possible. Let’s fight for it.

Your voice matters!

Click here to submit a comment to the Forest Service today.

We've created an online tool to help you draft an effective comment on the Roadless Rule. 


You can also write to your senator and Secretary Perdue below. We'll deliver your words straight to Washington, D.C.

If you want to submit your letter to your local newspaper, let us know! We can help you hone your argument and get your words published.

Showing 86 reactions

  • Catherine Beck
    commented 2020-10-10 08:45:23 -0800
    Dear Senator,

    To consider allowing for the destruction of the Tongass is to consider further promoting the destruction of our species and earth, solely for the sake of ill-gotten profits. It’s legality doesn’t make it ethical. People are paying attention and our votes depend on your stewardship of the earth. We need to protect the trees in order to protect our own oxygen source. We depend on trees far more than we depend on our elected officials. I encourage you to make your stance clear by opposing privatization and land trades on the Tongass.

    Thank you very much for your time
  • Anonymous
    commented 2020-09-28 18:13:03 -0800
    The Tongass National Forest is one of the last pristine Forest we have and we need to protect it. By logging and adding roads you will not only hurt our ecosystem but also our economy, Alaska relies on fishing and tourism and only 1% of our economy is based in logging. Stop trump from attacking our proud lands for his own corrupt gains
  • United States Or
    commented 2020-09-25 18:18:52 -0800
    WHAT ARE YOU THINKING OF?!!!! YOUR GREED WILL BE THE END OF OUR PLANET. YOU CAN’T UNDO THIS ONCE IT’S DONE. STOP THE LOGGING! SAVE THE TONGASS!!!!!!!!! Sigh… you think more government means less freedom, but it’s the only tool we have to mitigate corporate exploitation of people and the environment. This stupid orange man has convinced you that you’re cowboys, but you’re really the god damn cows!
  • Anonymous
    commented 2020-09-05 05:17:49 -0800
    The evidence is clear. Resource exploitation is simply exploitation. No regard for local impacts, or long term impacts to areas that have existed for tens of thousands of years. I live in Florida, where we continue to pay the price for destruction in the Everglades referred to as resource management. My family is from Oklahoma where oil extraction techniques have produced earthquakes in locations where none have ever previously occurred. Regardless of where we live, our nation’s natural resources are of greatest value to all, when they are not exploited for profit by a few.
  • Tyler Jazo
    commented 2019-11-30 22:12:41 -0900
    The Tongass is Earth’s largest remaining temperate rainforest, and the largest National Forest in the United States. All five species of Pacific Salmon, as well as Steelhead and Trout, fill the ocean and streams and feed the forests. Wild Salmon fisheries provide more jobs than any other private economic sector.


    Tyler – born and raised in palmer alaska
  • Abigail Dronen
    commented 2019-11-05 19:09:00 -0900
    You have no right to take away this beauty for your ugly profiting. Myself and my future children and grandchildren deserve to be able to witness what little beautiful things we have in this world. If You keep taking things and destroying them, there isn’t gonna be a world left for any of us. You included.
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-11-02 13:10:17 -0800
    Absolutely hands off Tongass. Absolutely do not lease to a few profiteers at the expense of a unique habitat and all citizens. This from a 40+ year fisheries biologist. Seattle 98117
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-10-23 14:48:22 -0800
    Please keep this beautiful piece of land untouched by human development and roads
  • Daniel Griffis
    commented 2019-10-20 16:31:50 -0800
    I strongly oppose privatization and land trades in the Tongass. The environmental consequences are too high and any benefit to the economy would not put money into local people’s hand. Please think of our future and our planet and protect this important forest.
  • David Bezanson
    commented 2019-10-20 06:08:10 -0800
    Halt further development in the largest temperate rainforest in the world. Maintain the current prohibition on adding roads, mining, fossil fuel operations, logging, grazing and other commercial activities. These extract publically-owned resources, privatize them for free, and enable a few corporations to pocket profits. The Tongass has large tracts of old growth forest, which sequester more carbon and provide more ecosystem services than younger forests. Due to the highly mechanized logging process, the proposed development will temporarily create less than 60 logging/milling jobs. All of the proposed development activities may be done outside of our national forests. The Alaska economy is dependent upon current economic benefits of leaving the Tongass wild – watershed storage, recreational and tourism, stream-dependent salmon fishing, etc. Keep our national forests wild and undeveloped until we overcome climate change.
  • Jim Andrew
    commented 2019-10-20 04:28:51 -0800
    It’s really simple: leave the Tongass alone. If we keep destroying nature, our grandchildren/great-grandchildren will be REALLY angry!
  • Stand for Nature For those with out a voice
    commented 2019-10-20 04:01:20 -0800
    This bit of forest, does not belong to humans, but to the animals with in. People have taken to much forests and homes away from wild life, and there is no recovering for the plant life. Life is a delicate thing. Think if it was your home, being torn down, so something else could make profit. Think for a second if you didn’t have a voice, but screamed soundlessly as it happened. There are plenty of places where logging happens. I think we have taken enough from nature, and this place should be left alone. I’m sadden by this. Just as I am that behind my home, where trees have been there since before I was born, are being torn down for more housing. This needs to stop.

    Not only that, but the Tongass, brings in revenue in the form of salmon fishing and tourism . Things which once gone, can not be replaced.
  • Naomi Love
    commented 2019-09-26 10:29:33 -0800
    Dear Senator.

    I live in SE Alaska, where our lives are inextricably intertwined with the Tongass forest. I am a teacher at an alternative school, where most of our students come from a history of ongoing trauma. Every week, sometimes every day, we try to get them outside, and I watch how the forest changes them and heals them.

    The Tongass has sustained 3 different Alaska Native people groups for thousands of years. Today it supports wild salmon and the tourist industry, employing thousands of people in the region. When residents talk about the weekend here, they always seem to take place in the forest. Weddings, birthdays, memorials, hikes, wildlife watching, and more. Our lives are lived in the forest.

    Even people that have never heard of the Tongass benefit from it. Our carbon stores are among the densest in the world. We help to mitigate carbon expenditures across the globe.

    I was deeply dismayed to hear that you are proposing to weaken our protections. Please reconsider. Please be a voice for the people of southeast Alaska, and for people all over the world, protecting something that has been for thousands of years, not a voice for those that would destroy it for a quick buck.

    thank you,

    Naomi Love

    YDHS teacher

    Juneau, Alaska
  • thomas johnston
    commented 2019-09-24 10:57:23 -0800
    I am writing to you as a concerned American citizen. My concern’s stem from how the U.S. Forest Service plans to go forward with the clear cutting of one of our last precious parcels of old growth forest in the world, without a well thought out plan, or any plan at all for that matter, except to sell it off to the highest bidder. To say that I am disappointed is a colossal understatement. Shame on your agency for going along with this fools errand at the behest of someone who has probably never taken a walk in the woods in their life!

    I am aware that the Forest Service is responsible for managing the forest, but this is not “caring for the land and/or serving the people”. Please tell me one person, other than someone that stands to make a lot of money from this action, that this is “serving”? No one, without an agenda, wants this beautiful forest clear cut. Please do not stand idly by while this travesty is at your doorstep, so our kids and their kids will have this magical place in the future.
  • Don Drury
    commented 2019-09-05 12:36:24 -0800
    Please do not rescind the USFS Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-08-30 19:01:14 -0800
    The Amazon is the earth’s lungs in the South, the Tongass are the lungs of the North. Unique and protected creatures seldom found anywhere else in North America inhabit the thousands of islands along the Alaska coast. Five species of salmon, brown and black bears, and bald eagles abound throughout the forest. Other terrestrial animals include wolves, mountain goats, ravens, and sitka black-tailed deer. Many migratory birds spend summer months nesting among the archipelago, notably the Arctic tern. Orca and humpback whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, river otters, and porpoises swim offshore. The Tongass is also home to steelhead and salmon. The Tongass is home to some of the oldest trees in North America over 1,000 years old. These lands are sacred. Protect these sacred forests! Humans have no right to destroy this rainforest.
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-08-30 06:38:43 -0800
    This place represents to all beauties of USA.
  • Jennifer Fuchsel
    commented 2019-08-27 16:33:47 -0800
    I urge you to consider the long term effects of logging, mining, and building in the Tongass. Its preservation is vital for so many species of plants and animals including the wild salmon population. Please oppose any efforts to roll back “roadless rule” enacted during the Clinton administration. We instead need to focus on ways to better manage and utilize the land we have for logging, mining, and energy. It has been said that our National Parks are America’s best idea so then it would make their destruction America’s worst idea. Tourists come from all over the world to see and explore the natural beauty that we have thoughtful set aside for preservation. Please stand with the other great leaders of the past who stood to protect this land and preserve it from development and destruction.
  • Jacob Richards
    commented 2018-12-29 18:01:10 -0900
    I believe it is important for the Tongass wilderness be protected not be used for explotation. We need to insure its survival as it is our national treasure for the state of Alsaka.
  • Joyce Halter
    commented 2018-10-14 15:53:39 -0800
  • john crawford
    commented 2018-09-15 06:27:16 -0800

    You must not privatize the public lands in the Tongass and open them to logging. It is a short sited decision that is morally incorrect and is going to have devastating effects on the ecology and landscape of the Tongass. Clear cutting causes land slides, especially in places that receive as much rain as the Tongass. Please back away from the Tongass and leave it public. Have conscience please and do the right thing, leave the Tongass public and do not open it to logging.


    John Crawford
  • Tori Hillenbrand
    commented 2018-09-11 16:46:34 -0800
  • Marian Ahler
    commented 2018-08-05 07:46:36 -0800
  • Henry Westmoreland
    commented 2018-07-17 04:00:31 -0800
    Please oppose any attempt to privatize parts of the Tongass National Forest. Reinstate the Roadless Rule to protect remaining old growth forest, habitat for salmon, eagle and other wildlife. Insist on accurate appraisal of any non-old growth timber that is cut without clearcutting. Do not allow this irreplaceable resource, one of only five remaining old growth temperate rainforests on earth, to be sold off at a loss. The loss would be far more than the taxpayers’ money.
  • Jennifer Dever
    commented 2018-03-22 15:21:41 -0800
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    I emplore you to reconsider this plan to privatize the Tongass Forest and repeal the Roadless Rule – this would be a terrible mistake. Please save this highly sensitive ecosystem from the perils of habitat destruction that are certain to follow these changes. This forest best serves the long-term needs of Alaska and he United States as an in-tact, preserved forest. Don’t be shortsighted. Don’t rob the future children of this unique resource!

    Kind Regards,

    Jennifer Dever

    Concerned citizen of the USA
  • Jennifer Dever
    commented 2018-03-22 15:21:40 -0800
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    I emplore you to reconsider this plan to privatize the Tongass Forest and repeal the Roadless Rule – this would be a terrible mistake. Please save this highly sensitive ecosystem from the perils of habitat destruction that are certain to follow these changes. This forest best serves the long-term needs of Alaska and he United States as an in-tact, preserved forest. Don’t be shortsighted. Don’t rob the future children of this unique resource!

    Kind Regards,

    Jennifer Dever

    Concerned citizen of the USA
  • Sherry Bottoms
    commented 2018-03-21 19:19:14 -0800
    Dear Lisa, We really need to leave these trees for future generations to see the beauty of this place and to protect the salmon runs. Yours truly, Sherry
  • Jacob Serka
    commented 2018-03-16 12:26:18 -0800
    What happens when the future generations don’t get the chance to indulge in alaska heritage? After all our surroundings and wildlife define us as a state. I’m 16yrs of age and I do not want to see our Alaskan salmon being mistreated in our home. I’ve been fishing ever since I can remember and it would kill me if I wasn’t able to catch Wild Alaskan salmon. Pls rethink this situation, for the sake of me and my fellow Alaskans. Thank you.
  • Pearl Mast
    commented 2018-03-12 10:44:53 -0800
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    My husband and I live in Arizona, but we have made repeated trips to the magnificent waterways of the Tongass National Forest in coastal Southeast Alaska.

    We have spent a lot of money on these trips to SE Alaska, and virtually all that money was spent on Alaska-owned transportation companies, and in the communities of SE Alaska.

    Therefore we were dumbfounded to learn that Alaska’s own senator would be proposing the further degradation of the forests of Tongass National Forest by allowing increased privatization of the Tongass, and increased clearcutting at taxpayer expense.

    This cannot be in the long-term interest of the citizens of SE Alaska, who depend heavily on tourist money. I can certainly say that the further trips we were already planning to SE Alaska would be affected by this kind of short-sighted activity.

    Please reconsider.


    Pearl Mast
  • Robert Pollitto
    commented 2018-03-11 17:01:41 -0800
    Protect the Tongass from logging.

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