10 Jun

AS INTERNATIONAL DISTRUST OF CHINA GROWS, POSSIBLE LIFTING OF ALASKA ROADLESS RULE LOOKS MORE AND MORE FOOLISH

U.S. Forest Service proposal to expand logging in Tongass opens door to risky involvement with China

Alexandria, VA– Leaders of the European Commission today decried China’s continued misinformation campaigns within the EU in order to shift the blame of the coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China. The pandemic has now globally resulted in more than 400,000 deaths, with more than 110,000 in America alone.   President Trump and his administration have taken measures to punish China for their botched handling of the deadly disease and their overt deceit surrounding the pandemic. But something to worry about is the ongoing trade relationship that impacts the Tongass National Forest of Alaska, where the majority of raw log exports from the forest are purchased by the Chinese. Logging in the Tongass is subsidized by U.S. taxpayers to the tune of $30 million annually. A proposal being considered by the current administration would expand logging of the Tongass National Forest even more and would only stand to increase American economic loss, at the benefit of China’s economy. The U.S. Forest Service is expected to release its final proposed plan within weeks. As distrust of China’s communist government grows, it would be prudent for our current administration to evaluate the risk further trade with China presents to the well-being of our country. Maintaining the Roadless Rule protections on the Tongass National Forest would prevent deeper Chinese intervention into American markets. 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 clearcutting and logging.  The USDA’s 2016 “Tongass National Forest Demand: Projections for 2015 to 2030” stated that “the majority of southeast Alaska logs were sent to the Pacific Rim; the share of logs sent there was over 90% in both 2005 and 2011. China is by far the largest single purchaser.” 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 current protected areas of the Tongass provide for 28 percent 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 enable increased production of raw log exports, to fulfill the demands of Chinese markets. China’s international deception and corruption cannot be overlooked, and their economy should not be fostered through the increased logging in the U.S. Expanded logging in the Tongass by eliminating the Roadless Rule does not benefit America, and we must proceed with extreme caution when trading with China.” says CFTR.To schedule an interview with a spokesperson for Citizens for the Republic, please contact Francesca Goerg at fgoerg@sbpublicaffairs.com, or call 703.739.5920 ###

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