Dunleavy Administration takes Biden to court over Tongass logging rules

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The State of Alaska took its fight against the U.S. Forest Service to court on Friday, contesting the Biden Administration’s repeal of President Donald Trump’s 2020 Alaska Roadless Rule. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Alaska, aims to restore the Trump-era rule, emphasizing its importance to Southeast Alaska’s economic and socioeconomic development.

Southeast Alaska once had a vibrant timber industry, but starting with the administration of President Bill Clinton, the timber companies have been locked out of any reasonable access to timber harvesting because they are not allowed to build roads in almost any part of the forested area of the national forest. Logging by helicopter in the small tracts provided by the Forest Service is uneconomic.

Court battles had continued for decades, and finally the Trump Administration had restored the ability to build limited access roads in the Tongass. Then came the Biden Administration, which almost immediately reinstated the Clinton roadless rule in the Tongass.

“Alaskans deserve access to the resources that the Tongass provides – jobs, renewable energy resources, and tourism. It’s not acceptable for a government plan to treat human beings within a working forest like an invasive species,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

The Tongass National Forest, spanning almost 17 million acres, is the largest forest in the country, and is home to over 71,000 Alaska residents.

“The Tongass National Forest has robust environmental protections in place, and the Roadless Rule is both unnecessary and continues to cripple the future of Alaskan communities,” said Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor. “The State seeks to obtain a final and enduring win with this litigation, in what it hopes to be the final chapter of this long-running saga.” 

13 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Gov Dunleavy for fighting the feds for our right to manage our own resources-oil, foresting, fishing; plus Alaskans waterways and boundary waters.

  2. Most people do not know, or realize that the US Forest Service is a part of the USDA or U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. Trees are a renewable resource, they are agriculture, they are a crop. These old growth forests would capture and sequester carbon better if they were selectively logged and new growth forests were to take their place. The fringe environmentalists are stuck in the old days where logging is bad, when in reality logging and reforestation is an environmentally friendly activity.

    I’m glad to hear that our Governor is continuing to pursue legal means to enhance our state and beat back the reigns of an overbearing and out of control federal behemoth.

  3. This is interesting. I live in the Tongass and I see the logging firsthand. Every day we see logging truck after logging truck loaded with their most prized resource, old growth, headed to the mill. We also see what is left…clear cut hillsides so littered with slash that it’s difficult to walk through it. Clear cuts that will take decades to recover. Southeast is a low growth environment and it’ll take more than the average person’s lifetime for a clear cut to recover enough to be cut again. It takes much longer for it to mature into an old growth forest again. And then there’s the poorly built logging roads that the Forest Service usually dig ditches across once the logging is done to stop residents from picking over the remains for firewood to heat our homes. The government will sell off vast tracts of forest to be clear cut but if a resident cuts a tree for personal use the penalties can be severe. The government allows logging companies to blast logging roads across wetlands with abandon while citizens are forced to beg the EPA/Army Corp for permission to develop small portions of their own privately owned land. The government treats the Tongass like a resource extraction zone to be exploited to the benefit, mostly, of corporate interests while gaslighting us with ridiculous claims that clear cutting the forests is good for tourism. As far as renewable goes consider this…huge areas have already been clear cut, the roads are still there, it’s been decades since some of these areas were cut so if the timber resource is so renewable then why is the push all about building new roads into unexploited old growth? It’s because timber interests want the value add old growth. If it were left up to them they’d clear cut every old growth tree that exists.

    • Where do you live where you see logging every day? Not in CBJ. I’ve seen no evidence of it in Petersburg, Ketchikan, or Sitka. Plus Skagway.

      The only places doing logging I’m aware of fall on Native owned lands.
      Hoonah, maybe, bit again-native land.

      There’s a word for your situation: busted.

          • Maybe you don’t know that POW stands for Prince of Wales Island and that, right now, sections of USFS timber is being logged and trucked to the Viking Mill in Klawock. Logging never stopped on POW and it’s not just native lands…federal and state land is being logged also, lots of it. Drive up to Naukati and see the new clear cuts. Check out the huge log dump near the town dock. Visit Coffman but watch out for the logging trucks that have been hauling logs out of First Dog all summer. Learn something instead of taking cheap and ignorant shots at someone who knows more than you.

          • Interestingly enough, spotted owls do better in new growth forests rather than old growth forests…turns out once again the envirowhackists lied again.

    • In other forests in Alaska we see US Forest plans dedicated to “waste” in writings they publish but think no caring Alaskan will read. They plan on wasting sixty acres of perimeters of forest for decades. The climate engineering industry has contracts forming clouds filled with particles delivered over the forest dessicating them and trees are drying out and tumbling over by the dozens in neighboring private property wasting resources. The tumbled and inaccessible roadless area trees fall over onto healthier trees and it becomes neally impossible to get through. This purposeful to implement anti-American strategies designed by other continents’ perverse desires antithetical to American residents’ best interests one of them codified, adopted, minimum safety codes for Alaskan residences within a municipality for driveways fourteen feet (14) wide to accommodate fire safety vehicles and forcefully forbidden by the private corporation the Alaska Railroad Corporation who detests private property rights and individual’s rights to travel which was defined in 1600’s in America incorporated unto the still intact Jamestown Charter. ALASKANS ARE VERY MISLED.

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