Forest Service Requests Comments on Proposal to Repeal 2020 Final Alaska Roadless Rule
On November 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service published a proposed rule to repeal its 2020 final Alaska roadless rule. The agency is taking this action under the direction of E.O. 13990 which directs agencies to review and revise policies that conflict with protecting the environment. The 2020 final rule exempted the Tongass National Forest from the requirements of the 2001 Roadless Rule. The 2001 rule prohibited timber harvest and road construction within designated areas within Alaska. The agency states that it considered several regulatory options that balanced the competing interests of timber and other industries and conservation, but ultimately decided that a repeal of the rule was the best option. The agency also certified that the proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities stating that the rule does not directly subject small entities to regulatory requirements. Forest Service further stated that entities may avoid revenue losses or benefit from activities on Forest Service lands.
Written comments are due by January 24, 2022.