Tags: Donald Trump | Polls | Trump Administration | cftr | tongass | usfs

There's Still Time for Trump to Get It Right on Forests

misty fjords national monument tongass national forest

Misty Fjords National Monument) is a national monument and wilderness area administered by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Tongass National Forest. (Adfoto/Dreamstime)

By Wednesday, 16 September 2020 09:49 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Despite the outspoken opposition from conservative and liberal leaders alike, as the final ruling from the Trump administration on the proposal to lift the Roadless Rule protections of the Tongass National Forest approaches, the United States Forest Service has remained virtually silent.

No statements have been made, nor comments given in response to the outpouring of disapproval for a proposal that will effectively decimate millions of acres of old-growth and antique forests in the nation’s largest federally protected forest.

One of the most vocal advocates for the preservation and continued maintenance of Roadless Rule protections of the Tongass has been Citizens For the Republic (CFTR), a political organization originally founded by Ronald Reagan in 1977 and now led by key conservative figures in Washington, D.C.

CFTR’s core principles of conservation and limited government intervention have bolstered their campaign to promote conservative conservation efforts, and they’ve begun to establish themselves as a growing outlet for conservative conservationists that value the maintenance of America’s heritage and natural lands.

Specifically, on the Tongass, they’ve engaged prominent conservatives in their campaign, such as Ed Rollins, pro-Trump PAC founder, former Governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., and a bevy of Reagan’s former White House advisers and strategists, amongst many others.

These leaders have emphasized the dangerous economic involvement of China within the logging industry of the Tongass, an industry that relies heavily on China’s consumption of the raw log exports.

Ed Rollins warned in an opinion piece that "the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is on the verge of determining whether public lands are managed for the benefit of Americans or for Chinese economic interests."

Polling commissioned by CFTR in the state of Alaska, key battleground states, and nationwide also should’ve raised concerned for the USFS.

Yet, they had no response to the overwhelming opposition found in Americans surveyed in all three polls, especially on the issue of China’s involvement.

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., who spent the majority of his six terms on the Resources Committee, asserted in a Bloomberg Law column that the U.S. Forest Service proposal for, "removing protections for almost 10 million acres of pristine national forest lands" resulted in, "the vast majority of voters so angered by the thought of the Chinese state prospering while Americans suffer, that if Trump were to move forward with the proposal, it could have pivotal impacts on his campaign."

Informed by these telling poll results, these key leaders all sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to consider the national security implications of expanded logging in the Tongass, and how it could negatively impact our economy’s future growth.

A petition formed by CFTR and signed by hundreds of Americans from over 30 different states across the country, including prominent conservative leaders as well as members of Hollywood, should’ve doubly raised alarmed for the USFS, but to this day they have yet to comment.

With all of Alaska's state representatives wholeheartedly in support of lifting the Roadless Rule without any valid reasoning, it begs the question to be asked, what is really going on here?

Is this a bureaucratic mess? Or are certain interests within the USFS's leadership to blame?

The final decision, while nearing, has yet to be cast.

There's still time for President Trump to get it right and as a true conservative, conservation president, uphold these economically important roadless protections on the Tongass National Forest.

Craig Shirley is a Ronald Reagan biographer and presidential historian. His books include, “Reagan’s Revolution, The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started it All,” “Rendezvous with Destiny, Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America,” "Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years," and “ Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan." He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, “December, 1941” and his new 2019 book, “Mary Ball Washington,” a definitive biography of George Washington’s mother. Shirley lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and the Reagan Ranch. He has been named the First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater and will teach a class this fall at the University of Virginia on Reagan. He appears regularly on Newsmax TV, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. Read Craig Shirley's Reports More Here.

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There is still time for President Trump to get it right and as a true conservative, conservation president, uphold economically important roadless protections on the Tongass National Forest.
cftr, tongass, usfs
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2020-49-16
Wednesday, 16 September 2020 09:49 AM
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