A group of concerned Americans packed a hearing room in Washington, D.C., to speak up for Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

The Tongass is protected from destructive development by the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which was enacted in 2001 due in large part to our national network. On Oct. 3, our national network joined environmental, taxpayer and other groups in calling on the U.S. Forest Service to reject a proposal to exempt the Tongass from Roadless Rule protections.

“Our wild spaces aren't just part of American history and mythology. They're a key part of what makes the United States special to this day,” said Emily Fieberling, a conservation fellow with our national network. “We should be protecting wild areas, not paving paradise to put up logging roads.”

Environment North Carolina is also supporting a bill in Congress called the Roadless Area Conservation Act, which would permanently protect the Tongass and other wild, roadless areas.

Read more here.

Photo: The Tongass National Forest is the world’s largest remaining intact coastal temperate rainforest. Credit: Lee Prince/Shutterstock