Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The first in a series of public meetings aimed at coming up with a specific roadless rule for Alaska kicks off in Juneau Thursday evening.
Chad Van Ormer, the director of Ecocsystem Planning and Budget for the Alaska Region of the Forest Service, is overseeing the process. He said on Action Line that there will a series of 15 meetings, with 14 of them in Southeast Alaska and one in Anchorage.
The first in Juneau Thursday evening is set for 5:30 at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Willoughby Avenue. Another meeting is scheduled in the same location and time a week from Thursday, September 20.
Van Ormer said the intent is to get some good information out there that will help generate public comments during the upcoming scoping period that will help shape some alternatives to develop for the Alaska state specific roadless rule.
Comment will not be taken during these meetings which are aimed at answering questions and outlining the process.
Van Ormer said a notice of intent has been released in the Federal Register which is the official kick off of a 45 day public scoping period. That period will conclude October 15. After that Van Ormer said they will go to work and start drafting an environmental impact statement which is scheduled to come out next July. Another series of public meetings will be held then to listen to concerns that come up prior to finalizing the E-I-S, according to the Forest Service official.
Upcoming meetings next week include Monday in Ketchikan and Hoonah; Tuesday in Craig and Angoon; Wednesday in Point Baker and Tenakee Springs; Thursday again in Juneau; Friday in Gustavus; Monday September 24 in Wrangell and Sitka; Tuesday, September 25 in Petersburg and Yakutat; Wednesday, September 26 in Kake; and Thursday, September 27 in Anchorage.
All of the meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. expect for the ones in Point Baker and Tenakee Springs next Wednesday which start at 1:30 in the afternoon.
Another meeting is planned in Washington, D. C. during the first part of October, but not yet scheduled.
We asked Van Ormer how people can find out more
If you're unable to attend one of these meetings, Van Ormer directs people to find out more at the Alaska Roadless Rule web site.
A link can be found on the Alaska Region web site at www.fs.usda.gov