Natural Resources Roundtable – January 18, 2022
The Office of Advocacy will host a roundtable to discuss the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s proposed rule to repeal the 2020 Alaska Roadless final rule. 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 roundtable will take place on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, from 3-4 p.m. (ET). Roundtable participation details will be provided upon receipt of RSVP. RSVPs should be sent to Prianka.Sharma@sba.gov. The purpose of the roundtable will be to gather specific small entity input and presentations on the proposed rule. Parties interested in making oral presentations during the roundtable should indicate this in their RSVP.
*Forest Service representatives have been invited to participate in this roundtable; however, their attendance has not been confirmed.
3:00 p.m. – 3:05 p.m. Introductory Remarks
Prianka Sharma, Assistant Chief Counsel, Office of Advocacy
Tyler Richards, Regulatory Economist, Office of Advocacy
3:05 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Input from Interested Small Entity Stakeholders
Presentations made during this roundtable will not substitute for written comments directly from interested parties to Forest Service. Advocacy strongly encourages those entities specifically interested in this rulemaking to provide both oral presentations during the roundtable, and written comments to the rulemaking docket.
Roundtable meetings are open to all interested persons, with the exception of the press, in order to facilitate open and frank discussion about the impacts of federal regulatory activities on small entities. Agendas and presentations are available to all, including the press. Anyone who wants to receive roundtable agendas or presentations, or to be included in the distribution list, should forward such requests to Prianka.Sharma@sba.gov. The purpose of these roundtable meetings is to exchange opinions, facts and information and to obtain the attendees’ individual views and opinions regarding small entity concerns. The meetings are not intended to achieve or communicate any consensus positions of the attendees.
Small Entity Natural Resources Roundtable
Issue for Discussion
January 18, 2022
Mitigation of Impacts of Offshore Wind Development on Fisheries
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.