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Tanana Valley State Forest Citizens' Advisory Committee to meet on October 25

The public is invited to attend the upcoming Tanana Valley State Forest Citizens' Advisory Committee meeting at 6pm on October 25th. It will be held in the Large Conference Room in the Fairbanks DNR Building, 3700 Airport Way. This committee advises the Division on plans and proposals for managing the 1.8-million acre Tanana Valley State Forest, along with other forested state-owned lands within the Tanana Valley. Public testimony will be accepted during the meeting. Topics for the CAC meeting include:

  • Participation in a research project: 'Investigating Changes in Forests Across Alaska and Canada'
  • Managing for Wildlife and Forestry in the Tanana Valley
  • Tok Fuel Log production, Tok Wood Fuels, LLC
  • Fairbanks area forest roads affected by a wet 2017
  • Update status of Simpson/Hasting road project
  • Fairbanks/Delta Area Update
  • Tok Area Update, including Tok Five Year Schedule of Timber Sales
  • Statewide Forestry update

Please see the attached agenda for more details.

If you are unable to attend in person and would like to participate by teleconference, or for special accommodations due to audio or visual impairment, please contact Alison Arians at alison.arians@alaska.gov or (907) 269-8467 before October 23rd.

For additional information about the TVSF CAC, visit the committee's webpage at http://forestry.alaska.gov/tvsf_committee.htm. If you would like to receive future announcements of Citizens' Advisory Committee meetings by e-mail, please contact Alison Arians at alison.arians@alaska.gov or (907) 269-8467 to be added to the committee's mailing list.

 

Alaska Roadless Rule Citizen Advisory Committee to meet October 2 and 3

The public is invited to participate in a Roadless Rule Citizen Advisory Committee meeting and teleconference on Tuesday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday, October 3 from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to discuss the roadless rulemaking process in the Tongass National Forest. The meeting is being scheduled in anticipation of an announcement later this week that will name the members of the Advisory Committee.

Topics for the advisory committee meeting include:

  • An overview of the AK roadless rulemaking process and review of lessons from roadless rulemaking processes in other states
  • Committee structure, process and operating protocols
  • Discussion of member interests and shared principles
  • Discussion of opportunities and challenges for the rulemaking process
  • Overview of public comments received to date
  • Discussion of possible alternative frameworks

Other roadless rulemaking matters may be included on the agenda. The meeting is intended to comply with the requirements of AS 41.17.047(b) and (d). Public comment is scheduled for 2:45 -3:45 p.m. on October 3.

The meeting will be held in the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, Centennial Hall, at 350 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska 99801. On Tuesday evening there will also be an informal opportunity for members of the public to "meet and greet" the Committee members from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at The Prospector Hotel (375 Whittier St).

Anyone who would like to participate in a teleconference of the meeting should contact Liz Duxbury at Meridian Institute at LDuxbury@merid.org or call 970-296-3057 no later than noon on Monday, October 1.

For a copy of the agenda, see the attachment below, or contact Diana Portner at DPortner@merid.org or 970-296-3060. For additional information about the meeting, or for special accommodations due to audio or visual impairment, contact Diana using the contact information above. Any individuals wishing to receive announcements of future Roadless Rule Citizen Advisory Committee meetings by e-mail or in hard copy should contact Liz Duxbury to be added to the mailing list.

CONTACT: Diana Portner, 970-296-3060, DPortner@merid.org

 

Governor Walker issues order to establish the Alaska Roadless Rule Citizen Advisory Committee

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker issued Administrative Order 299 today, establishing the Alaska Roadless Rule Citizen Advisory Committee, and creating an opportunity for Southeast Alaskans to advise the State of Alaska on the future management of inventoried roadless areas in the Tongass National Forest.

In April, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture accepted Governor Walker's request for an Alaska-specific rulemaking process on the Roadless Rule. In its rulemaking, the U.S. Forest Service will review opportunities to advance economic development in Southeast Alaska communities while conserving roadless area characteristics.

The Committee will consist of up to 13 voting members, representing federally recognized tribes in Alaska and Alaska Native regional corporations; environmental organizations; the timber, mining, tourism, energy, and commercial fishing industries; and state and local governments.

"This diverse Committee captures voices from stakeholders passionate about one of Alaska's greatest resources: our land," Governor Walker said. "It is critical for local Alaskans to be part of this important decision-making process that will impact many lives and livelihoods."

The Committee will provide recommendations to the Governor and the State Forester, consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding the State and U. S. Department of Agriculture entered in August 2018. The USDA is beginning an Environmental Impact Statement and public rulemaking process to develop a state-specific roadless rule that establishes a land classification system designed to conserve roadless area characteristics in the Tongass National Forest, while accommodating road construction activities necessary for meeting Southeast Alaska's continued forest management needs and economic development opportunities.

The Committee will present an initial written report on the rulemaking process to the Governor and State Forester no later than November 30, 2018, and may include up to three options for a state-specific roadless rule for possible inclusion in the National Environmental Policy Act review process.

To apply for a position on the Committee, please visit: http://aws.state.ak.us/CrmForms/Home/Apply.

For more information about the rulemaking process go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54511.

The Order takes effect immediately and remains in effect until December 31, 2020.

 

State of Alaska, USDA Forest Service begin official work on Alaska Roadless Rule

JUNEAU, ALASKA, August 2 – The State of Alaska and the USDA Forest Service signed a memorandum of understanding this week to develop an Alaska state-specific roadless rule.

An Alaska state-specific roadless rule will determine which currently designated roadless areas would require a different management designation to further Alaska's economic development or other needs, while still conserving roadless areas for generations to come.

The state-specific rule will amend the 2001 Roadless Rule, which prohibits road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting on certain National Forest System lands across the country. Currently, in Alaska, 67 percent of National Forest System lands are inventoried roadless areas. An additional 26 percent are designated Wilderness, where road construction is also prohibited.

In establishing this new rule, the USDA Forest Service is responding to Alaska's petition for a full exemption from the 2001 Roadless Rule. The petition was accepted by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in April 2018, with the decision to pursue a state-specific roadless rule. National Forest System lands in Alaska that are designated Wilderness would be unaffected by this rulemaking.

"We will continue to work with the people of Alaska, the state government, industry, tribes and Alaska native corporations to maintain the health and vibrancy of our National Forests," said Secretary Perdue. "The national forests in Alaska should be working forests for all industries."

The Forest Service and state will work closely together, as the Forest Service did with Colorado and Idaho to develop their state-specific roadless rules. An important part of this process will be working with stakeholders from across the region to inform development of this state-specific rule.

"The State of Alaska is ready to begin this work. I am confident that state and federal officials will be responsive to input from local residents every step of the way and that together we will account for the diverse needs of people who live, work, and recreate in the forest," Governor Bill Walker said of the project.

Secretary Perdue aims to sign a final Alaska Roadless Rule within the next 18 months. The preparation process will involve National Environmental Policy Act environmental review and disclosures, gathering public feedback, conducting public outreach, and consultation with Alaskan Tribes and Native Corporations.

A notice of intent to prepare an EIS for the rulemaking is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register later this summer.

For more information or to provide feedback related to this announcement, send an email to akroadlessrule@fs.fed.us.

 

Spruce Beetle Website Launched

The Spruce Beetle Working Group has recently launched a website with information on spruce beetle in Alaska's trees and forests. It is designed to be used by anyone who is interested in spruce beetles, has questions about spruce beetles, or has spruce beetle issues in their trees.

This website is a collaborative effort among the US Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry, and the UAF-Cooperative Extension Service.

 

Forestry Social Media Sites

DOF now has Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube pages:

Individual links to Youtube content: