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Proposed Roadless Rule Settlement Does Little to Safeguard the Economy of Southeast Alaska


May 16, 2011

(SitNews) - Responding to the Forest Service’s proposed settlement in the legal fight over implementation of the 2001 roadless rule in the Tongass National Forest, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said last week's proposed agreement does little to safeguard the economy of Southeast Alaska.

“While the proposed settlement language provides limited protection for a few specific hydroelectric projects, it does nothing for the dozens of hydro projects currently under consideration at FERC, let alone the hundreds of potential hydropower sites in the region,” Murkowski said. “It also doesn’t take into account the need for roads to build transmission lines to connect these power sources to local communities or make any mention of completing the rest of the Southeast intertie, which Congress approved more than a decade ago.”

Murkowski said the proposal also doesn’t address the needs of the region’s struggling timber industry for adequate timber supplies.

“Simply put, this proposal does little to safeguard the economy of Southeast Alaska,” Murkowski said.

Murkowski is the ranking member of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

The proposed judgement between the United States Forest Service and the Organized Village of Kake, The Boat Company as well as Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and other environmental organizations recognizes that hydropower development is managed under the Federal Power Act, which includes provisions that provide flexibility to the Forest Service to balance forest values, such as roadless characteristics, with the importance of new hydro projects to communities. The proposed judgment went to Judge Sedwick for approval last week.



Parties Agree to Proposed Judgment in Roadless Rule Lawsuit; Clarifies Rule Doesn’t Stop Hydro Development



Source of News: 

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski


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