State to challenge Tongass roadless rule

June 21, 2011 

JUNEAU -- The state of Alaska will challenge both the Clinton-era Roadless Rule for Tongass National Forest and a federal judge's recent decision overturning an exemption to that rule in Southeast Alaska.

State lawyers will begin drafting a challenge to the Roadless Rule established in 2001. The rule protects roadless areas in national forests from commercial logging and road building.

The Bush administration in 2003 exempted Tongass from those rules but a federal judge this spring overturned that decision.

The state also plans to appeal that decision.

In announcing the legal challenges, Gov. Sean Parnell said, "This is the wrong time for the Forest Service to further restrict timber supply, new mining jobs and development, and impose higher energy costs on communities."

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