USDA announces preference for full Roadless Rule repeal

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is advancing toward a full exemption for the State of Alaska from the hotly contested Roadless Rule while a government watchdog group claims more timber sales in the Tongass National Forest will simply lead to more lost public money.

On Oct. 15 the USDA released a summary of the options being examined in the draft environmental impact statement aimed at determining to what level Alaska’s national forests should be exempt from the 2001 Roadless Rule implemented by the Clinton administration.

The full EIS has not been published, but the summary document indicates USDA officials have selected a full exemption as their preferred alternative from six options that ostensibly would allow for varying levels of development in the Tongass National Forest.

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