STATEMENT: President Trump’s Attempt to Clear-Cut America’s Largest Old-Growth Forest Is a Reckless Boondoggle, Says CAP’s Matt Lee-Ashley

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration announced that it is eliminating protections for North America’s largest intact temperate rain forest. The administration is proposing a new policy that would allow logging in more than half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Following the announcement of the policy, Matt Lee-Ashley, senior fellow and senior director of Environmental Strategy and Communications at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

President Trump’s attempt to clear-cut America’s largest old-growth forest is a reckless boondoggle. This plan to allow widespread logging in the Tongass National Forest will damage southeast Alaska’s billion-dollar salmon fishery and the region’s massive outdoor recreation and tourism economy. This foolish liquidation of protections for the Tongass National Forest will waste millions more dollars in taxpayer subsidies just so that a few logging companies can send more old-growth trees to foreign mills. With the effects of climate change worsening, we should be protecting—not chopping down—the old-growth trees in the Tongass that serve as America’s largest carbon sink.

Related resources:

A Vast Liquidation of Public Lands Is Underway in Alaska” by Jenny Rowland-Shea, Sung Chung, Sally Hardin, Matt Lee-Ashley, and Kate Kelly

“Fruad in the Tongass” by Ryan Richards

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at or 202.495.3682.