• Overcast, light rain
  • 54°
    Overcast, light rain
  • Comment

Appeals court sides with Alaska on roadless rule

Posted: March 26, 2014 - 12:30pm

JUNEAU — A divided federal appeals court panel has sided with the state of Alaska in reversing a decision that reinstated the roadless rule in the Tongass National Forest.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision Wednesday, found that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had articulated “a number of legitimate grounds” in a 2003 decision to temporarily exempt the Tongass from the roadless rule.

A lower court judge, in 2011, had found the decision to be arbitrary and capricious.

The appeals court panel sent the matter back to the District Court to determine whether additional environmental review is required. Judge M. Margaret McKeown dissented, saying the justification for the shift was missing.

Tongass, located in southeast Alaska, is the nation’s largest national forest.

  • Comment

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Judy Hodel
Judy Hodel 03/26/14 - 01:19 pm
Corporate Welfare and Dog hair

In Sitka there has been increasing consensus that old-growth timber should be left alone. This is due in large part to memories of when the Starrigavan Valley watershed, just outside of town, was clearcut in the 1960s. Today, a secondary growth of red alder and salmonberry bushes grows in the valley -- locals refer to it as "dog-hair forest."

The destruction is a continual reminder of how GOVERNMET SUBSIDIZED out-of-state logging companies came to town, clearcut, and departed with only a moonscape veined with logging roads, and a few "leave-strips" of old-growth in their wake.

The Forest Service was started in 1905 to protect against rampant logging and grazing. Just a small fraction of America's original old growth forests remain.

The Tongass contains some of the last existing old-growth. Less than 1 percent of the Tongass is old growth.

About 40% of the Tongass is composed of wetlands, snow, ice, rock, and non-forest vegetation,

Harvesting old growth is not profitable, costing billions in subsidies; taxpayers shell out more than $3 a board foot to prepare old-growth harvest permits. Still, obsession with cutting down the last of America's virgin forests continues.

The resulting clear cuts are dog hair landscapes. Suitable for neither man or beast.

Haily George
Haily George 03/26/14 - 04:21 pm
"justification for the shift

"justification for the shift was missing."
Lets hope there is an appeal.

Back to Top


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback