Two More Groups Join Lawsuit to Exclude Alaska from ‘Roadless Rule’

Two resource development groups have filed to join a lawsuit that would exclude Alaska national forests from the roadless rule.

The Southeast Conference and the Alaska Forest Association are supporting a state suit against the U.S. Forest Service. It seeks to overturn a recent court decision imposing the nationwide rule on Southeast’s Tongass and Southcentral’s Chugach National Forests.

Shelly Wright is executive director of the Southeast Conference, an organization of regional government and business leaders.

The rule limits logging and other activity on roadless parts of national forests. A federal District Court ruling earlier this year applied it to Alaska, which had been exempt.

That judgment included a list of hydropower, mining and other projects that could move forward in roadless areas of the Tongass.

Wright says that’s not enough.

The Parnell administration appealed the roadless rule decision in June. It also sued, claiming the rule violated several federal laws, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, known as ANILCA.

Download Audio