Forest Service discussing Alaska Roadless Rule working draft with state and native tribes

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Forest Service is continuing its work on an Alaska specific Roadless Rule.

    Chad Van Ormer, the regional director of Ecosystem Planning and Budget was a guest on Action Line, said the process is generally on the same time line despite the recent month long shutdown of the federal government.

    The public scooping period was finished in October and Van Ormer said they spent a considerable amount of time going through the 144,000 comment letters received. They recently received a preliminary draft environmental impact statement from its contractor.

    He said they are  conducting meetings this week on that document with cooperating agencies including the state and six tribes.

    Van Ormer said they eyeballing a array of alternatives which will be posted to the project website soon.  He said those alternatives will range between the existing Roadless Rule and the full exemption requested by the state's petition.

    A draft environmental impact statement is due out this summer and will be followed by a 60 day public comment period.  Van Ormer figures they are aiming to publish a final rule by June of 2020.

    Van Ormer said they are available to provide presentations and updates on the project to interested organizations.  Contact the agency's Due Fenster at 209-2094 to make arrangements.

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