On Friday, the Biden administration began a process to reverse a Trump-era policy that opened vast swaths of the largest national forest in Alaska, the Tongass for logging and mining.
The move is the latest effort to roll back a landmark land decision made under then-President Donald Trump, reflecting a growing emphasis on conservation over commercial development.
In a notice posted on the White House website, the administration said it would propose to repeal or replace the ban of the Tongass from the Roadless Rule 2001 which was finalized late last year.
The Clinton rule banned logging, roads and mining in undeveloped forests. Alaska State officials had petitioned for the change because they said that the rule has cost jobs for Alaskans.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the administration's decision on roadless transportation, said that the decision of the Trump administration regarding Alaska was not in line with the overwhelming majority of public opinion across the country and among Alaskans.
Environmental groups lauded the decision and called on the administration to repeal the Trump policy entirely.
The full reinstatement of roadless protection is a necessity and crucial to preserving America's '' Amazon and one of our most important assets in the climate fight, Andy Moderow, Alaska director of the Alaska Wilderness League, said in a statement.
Spokespeople for Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and the state's congressional delegation did not immediately respond to requests for comment. When I hear something about you, I need to know if I'm right on the line or not.