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The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks slammed President Trump’s decision to open up Tongass National Forest to logging and industry, jeopardizing the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. This forest has been called the “lungs of the country,” and is home to numerous and diverse species and old-growth forest.

Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement:

“This administration’s decision to open up the pristine Tongass National Forest to development is devastating. Once again, President Trump is placing the interests of big business and industry over the protection of our irreplaceable resources and the health of our environment.

Logging companies will cut down trees that are centuries old. They will build roads that will destroy critical habitat for bears, bald eagles, and numerous other species. And the actions of these industries will exacerbate the impacts of climate change.

This is an outrageous decision that will destroy resources, harm the climate, and greatly diminish the ability of visitors to experience wild Alaska. This is a particularly appalling action from an administration that has spent years rolling back protections on public lands and the environment.”