Can The Tongass Support Sustainable Logging?

The Tongass National Forest could resume allowing logging in roadless areas under a court ruling. But it won’t happen immediately — or at all. (U.S. Forest Service Image)
The Tongass National Forest could resume allowing logging in roadless areas under a court ruling. But it won’t happen immediately — or at all. (U.S. Forest Service Image)

A regional committee tasked with advising the National Forest Service on how to manage logging in the Tongass began three days of meetings in Juneau Wednesday.

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The committee’s work is part of a yearslong process to rewrite the federal rules for what can and cannot be done in the Tongass National Forest.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack laid out a goal of phasing out old growth logging in favor of young growth in 10 to 15 years. He said the transition supports ecologic, social and economic sustainability in the forest.

The Tongass Advisory Committee’s recommendations are due in May. They’ll inform a rewrite of the Forest Service’s land use plans for the Tongass that’s expected in 2016.