State challenges national forest roadless rule again

By Ed Schoenfeld
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of Alaska is again trying to overturn the U.S. Forest Service’s roadless rule. Officials on Nov. 6 appealed a September court decision that threw out an earlier state challenge. The rule mostly blocks logging in undeveloped areas of the Tongass National Forest. It was established more than 15 years ago, but the Tongass was given an exemption, which was later overturned. Assistant Attorney General Tom Lenhart said the state continues to challenge the roadless rule because it’s damaging Southeast Alaska’s economy. “It’s played a key role in the almost complete demise of the timber industry,” he said. “It’s impacted utility companies and rural communities who may have future plans to build additional roads to connect to the outside world.” The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is one of the environmental groups that supported the rule in court. .

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