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Administration OKs Logging in Alaska

In a decision sure to rile environmentalists and thrill Sarah Palin, President Obama has approved logging in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, a stunning swath of temperate rain forest. The ruling, given the stamp of approval by the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, will undo a Clinton-era rule that prohibited logging in roadless areas of national forests around the country. Obama had supported the logging rule during his campaign. Vilsack and others justified the about-face by saying the area that will be logged is relatively small, and that jobs are desperately needed in Alaska. Environmentalists disagree, saying that the Tongass Forest is a remarkable natural treasure deserving of protection.