Tongass Roadless Rule

First Things First Alaska Foundation, and Others, as Interveners in the State of Alaska’s lawsuit on the Tongass Roadless Rule

The US Forest Service has unilaterally decided to close off 92 percent of the Tongass National Forest by implementing new roadless rule regulation, which will be applied to future development, including timber harvests, mining, and hydroelectric and other renewable energy projects.

The State of Alaska has filed suit in the District of Columbia to overturn this arbitrary and capricious action on the following points:
• The Roadless Rule usurps Congressional authority and violates the Administrative Procedures Act, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
• ANILCA states that no more than 5,000 acres can be set aside without congressional approval.
• By establishing Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA) the Forest Service is essentially creating Wilderness Areas, a function only Congress has the authority to designate.
• The TTRA states that 267 million board feet of timber must be made available to meet market demands. The Roadless Rule makes it possible to only harvest 50 MMBF.
• The Forest Service failed to consider how the Roadless Rule would adversely affect development of hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, tidal and other potential renewable power sources, as well as mining projects. This is a violation of NEPA and FLPMA.

First Things First Alaska Foundation has joined with the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and others to support the State’s lawsuit in the form of an “Intervener” motion through the courts. Other interveners include: Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska Power and Telephone, Alaska Miners Association, Citizens Pro Road, City of Craig, Durette Construction Co., Hyak Mining, Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Ketchikan Public Utilities, Northwest Miners Association, SE Roadbuilding, SE Stevedoring, and Chris Gerondale. Additional companies, organizations, and individuals can and may join the suit. . In intervening, FTFAF and others demonstrate that they and their members will be significantly affected by the outcome in the court decision. The court is subsequently required to consider the impacts to these organizations when making its ruling on the Roadless Rule.

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Right the Roadless Wrong

Tongass National Forest Management Plan Review