Alaska tribes say agency ignored Tongass exemption request

 Photo courtesy US Forest Service
Photo courtesy US Forest Service (KTUU)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 6:12 AM AKDT
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(AP) - Some Alaska Native groups say the U.S. government has ignored their requests to uphold national Roadless Rule restrictions in the Tongass National Forest.

CoastAlaska reported the U.S. Forest Service recommended lifting the rule completely and is expected to make the decision official before the end of October. The agency started a 30-day clock last month to completely exempt Tongass National Forest from the 2001 regulation. The Forest Service consulted nine Southeast Alaska tribes whose traditional homelands are part of the country’s largest national forest.

Hoonah Indian Association Administrator Bob Starbard says the change is a broken promise to tribal groups.

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