Alaska files to defend Tongass exemption from Roadless Rule, Seattle Times ($)

By The Associated Press • March 27, 2021 at 8:35 am | Updated March 27, 2021 at 8:36 am

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska and several other groups have filed to defend the Tongass National Forest’s exemption from a rule that limits development on federal land.

The filing fights back against a group of tribal, environmental, fishing and tourism organizations who sued the Trump administration’s decision last year to dismiss the Roadless Rule for the Tongass, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported on Thursday.

The Roadless Rule was adopted in 2001 and limits road construction and timber harvesting on National Forest System lands.

“The Tongass holds great economic opportunity for not only Southeast Alaska, but the State as a whole,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a statement. “From resuming our timber industry to attracting tourism, this region has the potential to create good-paying jobs and it is my administration’s intent to defend our state’s rights and improve access to public lands.” MORE>>