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EDITOR, Daily News:
The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on exempting the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. The comment period ends on Oct. 15.
The 2001 Roadless Rule prohibits road construction and timber harvesting on 9.2 million acres of the Tongass National Forest. Since it was passed in 2001, the State of Alaska has sought exemption, primarily through lawsuits. In January 2018, Gov. Walker submitted a petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for an exemption through the rulemaking process. The petition was accepted, and the current public comment period is a key part of the rulemaking process.
If you are interested in learning more about the Roadless Rule history or the position of the Walker administration or the State on the issue, you can visit the Forest Service Alaska Region webpage at www.fs.usda.gov/r10. You can also reach out to my office with any questions.
I appreciate everyone who attended the Roadless Rule open meeting in September, and I hope that people take this opportunity to voice their opinions through the public comment process on a very important matter. Remember, public comment ends Oct. 15.
REP. DAN ORTIZ
House District 36