The protections for Tongass National Forest were brought in under Bill Clinton in 2001. According to CNN, it's the world's largest intact temperate rainforest. Environmentalists say they will challenge the decision in court.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said these changes would likely not cause significant impact on the region. In a notice, the USDA said, "A policy change for the Tongass National Forest can be made without major adverse impacts to the recreation, tourism, and fishing industries, while providing benefits to the timber and mining industries.”
In a press release, the Executive Director of the Center for Western Priorities, Jennifer Rokala, told Reuters that, “Logging the Tongass is an unconscionable leap in the wrong direction.”