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by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer In response to the Trump administration’s move to open the Tongass National Forest to logging, 11 Southeast Alaska Native tribes have petitioned the USDA to implement a new rule that would require the Forest Service to consult with them on land use decisions. The rule would force the Forest […]
Why This Matters: The Tongass is the largest national forest and one of the most important forests in the world (as the Ag Department itself says – watch the video) because it contains some of the last surviving old-growth temperate rainforests in North America and is home to numerous species of endangered wildlife and is very important to several native tribes.
Why This Matters:Native American tribes are uniquely positioned to challenge some of the Trump administration’s most aggressive moves to develop (timber harvest, mining, oil and gas drilling) on federal lands. Often these cases are thrown out because the plaintiffs are found not to have a sufficient “interest” in or connection to the government’s action — but when it comes to the destruction of sacred sites, that argument really does not work. And once these lands and sacred sites are spoiled by development, they cannot be restored.
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