Timber companies that log the Tongass National Forest could bid on 10-year sale contracts if the forest becomes exempt from the roadless rule. Current sales typically run three to five years. Last month, the state and the U.S. Forest Service reached an out-of-court settlement that temporarily exempts the Tongass from the Clinton-era rule, which prohibits timber harvesting and road-building within about 58 million acres of the 192-million-acre national forest system. About 9.6 million acres of Southeast Alaska's 16.8-million-acre Tongass have been designated roadless.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.