Alaska sues Biden over protections for Tongass National Forest

The state of Alaska is suing the Biden administration over its decision to reinstate protections from logging for a national forest in the state. 

The Biden administration restored the protections on more than 9 million acres that were rolled back under the Trump administration in January, citing biodiversity and climate change in its reasoning.

On Friday, Alaska officials announced they would challenge that decision to protect economic development in their state. 

“Alaskans deserve access to the resources that the Tongass provides — jobs, renewable energy resources, and tourism, not a government plan that treats human beings within a working forest like an invasive species,” Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) said in a statement.

The Tongass National Forest, in the southeastern part of the state, is the country’s largest national forest and is home to wildlife including eagles, bears and salmon. It also stores significant amounts of carbon dioxide.

The protections on certain parts of the forest were first put forward at the end of the Clinton administration in 2001.

The rule has been highly partisan over the years, and its status has ping-ponged during different administrations. 

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