Alaska Roadless Rule

USDA Forest Service seeks public comment on draft Environmental Impact Statement, alternatives to a proposed Alaska Roadless Rule

Tongass National Forest Coastline

JUNEAU, ALASKA – Oct. 15, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public comment on a draft environmental impact statement offering a range of alternatives for roadless management and a proposed Alaska Roadless Rule. If adopted, the proposed rule would exempt the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule.

The USDA Forest Service will publish the documents in the Federal Register this week. The publication will begin a 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule, and on each alternative outlined in the draft environmental impact statement. More

How to Comment

Comments must be submitted in writing by December 17, 2019.


In 2018, the State of Alaska petitioned the Secretary of Agriculture to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule. The Department of Agriculture responded, directing the Forest Service to initiate steps to examine a state-specific roadless area management direction for the Tongass. The agency developed a draft environmental impact state and proposed rule after extensive work that included recommendations and comments from state officials, Alaska tribes and native corporations, organizations, and individuals. The draft environmental impact statement, prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act, provides an analysis of six alternatives, which are options, choices, or courses of action related to roadless management in Alaska. The alternatives range from no action to the removal of the Tongass from the 2001 Roadless Rule. The Department has identified Alternative 6, which is a full exemption, as the preferred alternative at this time. A final decision, after further extensive public involvement, is expected in 2020.