A few states are in the process of challenging a federal rule that makes it difficult to build new roads through national lands, called the Roadless Rule.
But on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., introduced legislation which could eliminate the possibility of an Alaska-specific exemption to the Roadless Rule.
Under the Roadless Area Conservation Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture wouldn’t have the authority to grant that exemption.
Right now, the agency is on track to release a draft environmental impact statement this summer, including various options for road-building in the Tongass. An official decision is expected by 2020.
It’s unclear how the new legislation will interfere with those plans. It still has to pass both the House and the Senate, where Murkowski chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
- A federal investigation into Monday’s fatal floatplane crash near Metlakatla has begun, and both victims have been identified.
- Rallies took place across the country Tuesday as abortion rights supporters spoke out against the recent passage of more restrictive legislation in several states.
- While a demonstration at BP's Denver headquarters was underway on Monday, the architect of a broader strategy to deter ANWR drilling was on a train, traversing the length of the United Kingdom.
- The city is looking into a new way to deal with properties that make frequent appearances on the police blotter.