Forest Service expanding comment period for Tongass

Aerial view of Tongass National Forest

Aerial view of Tongass National Forest (Photo by Alan Wu/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Forest Service will allow the public more time to comment on the Tongass Land Management Plan.

The document is undergoing a five-year review. The comment period was scheduled to close at the end of March, but members of the public and Alaska’s US Senators asked for an extension.

The agency announced Monday that it will keep the public comment period open until June 30.

The most recent version of the Tongass National Forest Land and Resource Management plan was approved in January of 2008. The document outlines forest policy and designates allowable uses on different parts of the 17 million acres forest, from remote recreation to timber harvest. It includes a “conservation strategy” for protecting fish and wildlife habitat.

The agency says it wants feedback from the public on whether the plan is working or whether changes are needed.