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Federal policy change sparks debate over Alaska’s Tongass

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Critics and proponents are debating the merits of changes to federal environmental policy, including the effects on management of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Alaska’s Energy Desk reports that the largest U.S. national forest will probably be impacted by the Trump administration’s recent revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act. Proponents say the changes streamline a regulatory process that hampers development on federal land. Natalie Dawson of Audubon Alaska says public input will become harder under the new policies because public meetings will only happen when deemed appropriate by federal agencies. The changes could be overturned by a new presidential administration.

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