SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Roadless Settlement Handcuffs Economy
Murkowski encourages state to pursue legal options


May 27, 2011

(SitNews) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to a federal judge’s decision Tuesday to accept a settlement proposal by the U.S. Forest Service in Organized Village of Kake, et. al. v. USDA which re-imposes the 2001 roadless rule in the Tongass National Forest, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a prepared statement, “The settlement catches the communities in Southeast in a terrible trap. While the agreement provides limited protection for a handful of energy and mineral projects, it excludes dozens of other projects – and hundreds of areas with great potential – that could help lower energy costs and boost the region’s economy."

Murkowski said, “I’m disappointed the court did not approve the state’s request to protect additional projects from potential harm from the roadless rule."

" I understand that the state is seriously evaluating all legal options, including appealing the judge’s decision accepting the settlement and a suit challenging the validity of the roadless rule itself. I strongly encourage the state to pursue both of those options," said Murkowski.

“At the same time, I have co-sponsored legislation with Sen. Barrasso of Wyoming that would remove roadless restrictions from all federal forests in the state of Alaska," said Murkowski.

“The roadless rule was never intended to apply to the Tongass because ANILCA already set logging limits for the forest, as did the Tongass Timber Reform Act,” said Murkowski.



Court Ends Lawsuit Over Roadless Rule; Final judgment reinstates rule protecting intact forests while allowing hydropower, transmission lines, and mining to proceed – Tuesday the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska entered a final judgment in a case involving intact, roadless areas of the Tongass National Forest.  The case was brought by a Native village, tourism businesses, and conservation groups.  The judgment reinstates the Roadless Area Conservation Rule in the Tongass.  The “roadless rule” blocks expensive and controversial new logging roads and clearcuts in intact forests while allowing other economic development—including hydropower, transmission lines, mining, and tourism projects—to proceed. - More...
Wednesday - May 25, 2011

Source of News: 

Office of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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