18 May


Proposal to lift ‘Roadless Rule’ will increase China’s ability to destroy American lands for their profit

Alexandria, VA– Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. tensions with China have reached an all-time high. Conservative leaders are voicing their disapproval of continuing trade with China. A contentious trade deal between the US and China involves logging within the Tongass National Forest, where the majority of raw log exports from the Tongass are purchased by the Chinese.

Citizens for the Republic, the grassroots organization founded by Ronald Reagan, continues to advocate for the maintenance of the ‘Roadless Rule’ protections of the Alaska Tongass National Forest, aslifting the proposal put forth by the Washington DC bureaucracy will open up nearly 10 million protected acres of the 16.7-million-acre forest to industrial-scale clear-cut logging. 

The USDA’s 2016 “Tongass National Forest Demand: Projections for 2015 to 2030” stated that  “softwood log exports [from southeast Alaska] to China have risen dramatically in recent years.” The USDA’s report details that the majority of southeast Alaska logs that are cut is exported “to the Pacific Rim (China, Japan, South Korea) and that “China is by far the largest single purchaser.”

The USDA also states within the report that the share of logs cut from the Tongass and exported to China was “over 90% in both 2005 and 2011.”

Similar to the USDA report, a 2015 census conducted by The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, found that “nearly all 2015 Alaskan log exports were sent to Pacific Rim countries in Northeast Asia, with China receiving approximately 76 percent of the volume leaving the Anchorage Customs District.”

If the Roadless Rule is lifted, the expanded logging in the Tongass will generate millions for China’s economybut little for America’s economy. 

Watchdog organization Taxpayers for Common Sense, in accordance with the 2016 Report from the Government Accountability Office, found in 2019 that American taxpayers subsidize the logging industry in the Tongass on average $30 million every year. The revenue generated for the state of Alaska yields only a 1% return. 

The current protected areas of the Tongass provide for 28% of the commercial salmon harvest across the entire state, withthe Alaskan fishing industry yielding $986 million annually. Tourism, recreational, and fishing/hunting industries within the protected Tongass employ over 10,000 Alaska residents. 

“The proposal to lift the Roadless Rule protections will likely have significant adverse economic impacts to southeastern Alaska’s economy, just to fulfill Chinese demands. The American taxpayer should not be forced to subsidize logging in our public forests for the  Chinese government. The future prosperity of American families cannot be sacrificed on the altar of Chinese greed says CFTR.

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