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Forest Service, state seek Alaska version of roadless rule

The Associated Press
Forest Service, state seek Alaska version of roadless rule

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA — The Trump administration and Alaska officials are taking steps to allow more roads in national forests within the state.

The U.S. Forest Service announced it has signed an agreement with the state to work toward an Alaska version of the nation’s “roadless rule.”

Environmental groups say the proposal would sacrifice old-growth timber and wildlife to support a heavily subsidized timber industry that exports raw timber and supports jobs overseas.

The current rule prohibits road construction and timber harvest in areas inventoried without roads. Alaska petitioned for a full exemption.

Inventoried roadless areas in Alaska include 38,450 million square kilometres, or 57 per cent, of the Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest, and 21,850 million square kilometres, or 99 per cent, of the Chugach National Forest.

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