The Southeast Conference and the Alaska Forest Association are seeking to side with the state of Alaska’s attempt to prevent application of the 2001 Roadless Rule in Alaska’s forests, according to a release from the conference Wednesday.
The rule is designed to prevent new logging and road construction in the federal forests it covers, including both the Tongass and the Chigach in Alaska. The Bush administration in 2003 exempted the Tongass from that rule. However, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick removed that exemption in March.
The state is currently pursuing two legal efforts attacking the Roadless Rule in Alaska: appealing Sedwick’s decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and seeking a declaratory judgment against the rule’s validity in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C. The AFA/Southeast Conference action would join them to the pending court case in Washington.
Alaska’s congressional delegation is also pushing for legislation to exempt Alaska from the Roadless Rule.