October 15, 2019 (Anchorage, AK) – Today Alaska Governor Michael J. Dunleavy praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Alaska Roadless Rule exemption for the Tongass National Forest. The draft EIS lists six potential options and selects Alternative 6, a full exemption of the Tongass National Forest from the Clinton-era 2001 Roadless Rule as the preferred option.
“Today’s announcement on the Roadless Rule is further proof that Alaska’s economic outlook is looking brighter every day,” said Governor Dunleavy. “The ill-advised 2001 Roadless Rule shut down the timber industry in Southeast Alaska, wiping out jobs and economic opportunity for thousands of Alaskans. I thank the USDA Forest Service and for listening to Alaskans wishes by taking the first step to rebuilding an entire industry, putting Alaskans back to work, and diversifying Alaska’s economy.”
Alternative 6 is fully responsive to the State of Alaska’s petition to completely remove the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. This USDA preferred alternative removes all 9.2 million roadless acres and reclassifies 165,000 old-growth acres and 20,000 young-growth acres to suitable timber lands. The draft EIS only applies to the Tongass National Forest.
Governor Dunleavy worked with President Donald Trump, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, Congressman Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan, Senator Lisa Murkowski and others to reopen the Tongass and wants to thank them for their support and hard work.
Governor Dunleavy urges Alaskans to submit comments in favor of Alternative 6 and a growing Alaska economy between Friday, October 18 and December 17, 2019. Please go to the Alaska Roadless Rule project website for more information.