Lumber prices have gone up dramatically since the pandemic disrupted the supply chain — but people are still building.
Southeast Alaskans who rely on the Tongass National Forest for food say the Trump administration’s decision to lift the Roadless Rule threatens their way of life.
The Trump administration’s decision could be reversed through a court challenge or an act of Congress. Alternatively, another presidential administration could revisit the rule — but that would require public comment, meetings and another multi-year process.
Wednesday’s announcement, in a preliminary version of a government publication called the Federal Register, was broadly expected.
Last month the Forest Service started a 30-day clock to completely exempt Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule.
Elected officials and residents in Petersburg have also asked about lost revenues from past timber sales and what’s been done to correct oversight.
The Trump administration announced last week that it’s planning a full rollback of the Clinton-era “Roadless Rule” for the Tongass National Forest.
Nearly 200 people testified at 18 hearings last year specifically geared towards people who rely on the forest for their way of life — and large majorities supported keeping the rule in place.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm over the project near Ketchikan, and the timber industry has raised questions over whether it would be viable.
The Vogue Tongass posts are linked to a website that helps people generate letters to their local elected officials and the Secretary of the USDA.