The public comment period for the Roadless Rule ends on December 17th, 2019. We had a great showing at the community meeting – about 47 people, but this is a reminder that in order for your comment to be on the record you need to submit it as a written comment. You can do that online or as a letter.
If you haven’t had a chance for public comment yet now is the time! Do not wait until the last moment! Make your voice heard.
- To submit a comment online go here and input your comment : https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=54511
- If you are unsure of how to get started on a letter this is a useful tool to help you create a letter : https://mobilize4change.org/m6qwbb3
- Mail comments to
- USDA Forest Service
- Attn: Alaska Roadless Rule
- P.O. Box 21628
- Juneau, Alaska 99802
- To read what folks around the nation are saying go to : https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//ReadingRoom?Project=54511
You probably know by now that this a controversial issue. There is a huge amount of information, opinion pieces, and other facts that are only a Google Search away. Try terms like “Roadless Rule”, “Alaska Specific Roadless Rule”, “Roadless Rule Changes”. We don’t have time to provide you a full background and would prefer that you make up your own mind, but as a reminder this is the Tribe’s documented position : https://www.hia-env.org/2019/10/30/hia-and-five-southeast-alaska-tribes-condemn-the-roadless-rulemaking-process/
You can use this website (Mapping website) to review each of the alternatives.
The current comment review period is asking the public to weigh in which “Alternative” is inline with their needs and values. Seeing as we live directly in the Tongass it is very important for you to give your opinion.
Here are a description of the available alternatives. These are taken directly from https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2019/10/15/usda-forest-service-seeks-public-comment-draft-environmental-impact
The draft environmental impact statement, prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act, provides an analysis of six alternatives, which are options, choices, or courses of action related to roadless management in Alaska. The alternatives range from no action to the removal of the Tongass from the 2001 Roadless Rule. The Department has identified Alternative 6, which is a full exemption, as the preferred alternative at this time.https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2019/10/15/usda-forest-service-seeks-
The full range of options are:
Alternative 1 takes no action and would leave all of Alaska under the 2001 Roadless Rule, including the Tongass National Forest.
Alternative 2 provides regulatory protection for the majority (89%) of key watersheds inside roadless areas and would convert 18,000 old-growth acres and 10,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands.
Alternative 3 provides regulatory protections for all key watersheds inside and outside roadless areas, creates a community priority roadless designation that allows for recreational development and timber sales under 1 million board feet, and would convert 76,000 old-growth acres and 14,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands.
Alternative 4 restricts harvest and road-building activities in scenic viewsheds and most (88%) key watersheds inside roadless areas and would convert 158,000 old-growth acres and 15,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands.
Alternative 5 would remove 2.3 million acres from roadless area designation, protects some (59%) key watersheds, and would convert 165,000 old-growth acres and 17,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands.
Alternative 6 (preferred) would exempt the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule and is fully responsive to the State of Alaska’s petition. The alternative would remove all 9.2 million acres of inventoried roadless acres and would convert 165,000 old-growth acres and 20,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timber lands to suitable timber lands. Conservation of roadless values would be achieved through other means, including the Tongass Land Management Plan. This is specific to the Tongass National Forest. The Chugach National Forest would remain under the 2001 Roadless Rule.