Begich Comments on Roadless Rule Ruling
Says Roadless Rule is Bad Fit for Alaska
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mark Begich had the following comment today on a Federal District Court's ruling in Alaska that set aside the Tongass Exemption and reinstated the application of the 2001 Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest.
"This decision means that the Tongass National forest will be managed by a cookie-cutter rule imposed upon all national forests rather than by the 2008 Tongass Land Management Plan," Begich said. "This ill-fitting and broad-reaching rule will limit not only the timber harvest and mining. It will also prohibit much needed development of renewable hydropower resources in Southeast Alaska and even prohibit personal use wood permits. Simply put, it's a bad idea and it won't work for Alaska."
Senator Begich also stated, "This will have a severe impact and reverse efforts to revitalize local communities and increase economic diversification throughout the region. I spoke with Alaska Regional Forester Beth Pendleton today and will speak with Secretary Vilsack shortly about any administrative flexibility over the short term and will work with my colleagues in the Alaska delegation on legislative solutions."