Audubon Thanks Senators Cantwell and Murray for Sponsoring Roadless Rule Conservation Legislation

Bill would protect vital bird habitat in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both of Washington State, introduced legislation in Congress to permanently protect 58.5 million acres of roadless areas on national forests from development. The 2001 “Roadless Rule” is intended to provide lasting protection for certain federal forest lands from logging, road-building, mining, and drilling for oil and gas and instead preserve them for recreation, conservation, and wildlife habitat. The National Audubon Society applauds the new bill, the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2018.

“By writing roadless rule protections for important forests around the country into statute, Senator Cantwell and Murray’s bill would ensure protections for irreplaceable bird habitat, including some of the last remaining centuries old, big trees in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. These large-tree old-growth forests are home to endemic birds like the Queen Charlotte Goshawk and the Prince of Wales Spruce Grouse” said Sarah Greenberger, Senior Vice President for Conservation Policy at National Audubon Society.

“The Goshawk and Spruce Grouse are just two of the birds that depend on precisely the old growth trees in the Tongass – trees which may soon be at risk due to an imminent agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and the state of Alaska.  Other species include the Marbled Murrelet, which nests high up in the old growth canopy.”

Greenberger concluded, “This legislation is both urgent and important for birds and for the unbroken forests in the Tongass and beyond, and Audubon thanks Senators Cantwell and Murray for sponsoring it.”

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using, science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more how to help at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

Contact: Anne Singer,, 202-271-4679.