Nine tribal governments in Southeast Alaska submitted a petition to the United States Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, asking for another rule making process for the Tongass National Forest.
The state of Alaska used more than $200,000 of that federal grant money, typically designated for fire prevention, to pay an industry group for more perspective on economic timber sales.
Two Congress members want to know why a grant, typically used to prevent wildfires, was given to the state of Alaska to work on this.
At a U.S. House hearing Wednesday, people for and against the rule agreed that removing the roadless restrictions won’t make much difference for an industry that’s already in a steep decline.
The first in a series of public meetings happened in Juneau Monday night at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall.
The agency said a Roadless Rule exemption would allow more “flexibility” in how the nation’s largest national forest is managed.
A timber group was paid more than $200,000 out of a federal grant to provide more industry perspective on a potential Roadless Rule exemption for Alaska.
A national news story caused a stir this week, suggesting President Donald Trump has taken a special interest in how the Tongass will be managed.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she supports a full exemption of the federal Roadless Rule for the Tongass National Forest.
Under the proposed Roadless Area Conservation Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture wouldn’t have the authority to grant an Alaska-specific exemption to the Roadless Rule.