Projects in Alaska Roadless Area Approved
January 21, 2011
The first project approved by the secretary provides a special-use permit that will allow a tourist-based company to operate a zip-line ride for cruise-ship passengers visiting the Tongass National Forest this summer. The project will increase recreational options for tourists visiting Ketchikan.
The second project, the Cascade Point Access Road Reconstruction project in the Tongass will improve and widen three miles of existing road near the Ward Cove ferry terminal, enhancing safety for local workers and recreational users.
Last spring, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, requested decisions on both projects be expedited to avoid unnecessary delay caused by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s standing order that his office review and approve all proposed projects within existing federal roadless areas in the national forest system.
Murkowski said, “I am happy that the Secretary of Agriculture has finally approved these projects nearly nine months after they were requested,” Murkowski said. “I am hopeful that future projects beneficial to self-sustaining communities within the Tongass will win approval on a more timely basis.”
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