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Democrats Tout Water, Fire Benefits of Roadless Areas Protection

May 11, 2022, 7:42 PM

Permanent roadless area protection is vital to preserving drinking water supplies, cutting wildfire risk, and saving Alaska’s oldest forests, Democrats said during a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.

Debate centered on a bill (H.R. 279) that would codify an existing US Forest Service rule prohibiting road building across swaths of national forests nationwide—Democrats’ backlash to a Trump administration decision to lift roadless protections in Alaska. That decisions allowed logging or development across 9.3 million acres of southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

The Biden administration reversed that decision in 2021.

“We must pass the Roadless Area Conservation ...

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