By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter
Originally Published: Friday, January 26, 2018, E&E Newswire
The old-growth timber industry's fight for survival in Alaska may be complicating congressional efforts to reach a long-term solution to costly wildfires.
Senate aides and lobbyists told E&E News that Sen. Lisa Murkowski's focus on protecting southeast Alaska's shrinking old-growth timber business is one potential wrinkle as lawmakers balance environmental and forest industry interests in search of a compromise, possibly in a spending bill covering the rest of this fiscal year.
As the Republican chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and often a swing vote on issues in the Senate, Alaska's senior senator is a key player in the wildfire and forest management debate. She told E&E News on Wednesday she's still working toward including a wildfire measure in a broader bill but didn't elaborate.
Marc Heller, E&E News reporter
Originally Published by E&E on Wednesday, December 6, 2017
A fight over road construction in the Tongass National Forest may flare up in spending negotiations.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) sponsored a provision in draft Senate appropriations legislation for Interior and related agencies that would exempt Alaska from federal rules that restrict building of roads in national forests.
Murkowski's move against the "roadless rule" marks another line in a battle that's been playing out, mainly in federal courts, since the Clinton administration handed down the regulations in 2001.
A U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge in September dismissed a lawsuit by Alaska seeking to overturn the rule.
Murkowski, chairwoman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, is also pushing a provision that would slow the Forest Service's transition from old-growth logging to young-growth logging in Tongass and Chugach national forests.
Clearcutting ancient trees in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest makes little sense—ecologically, climatically, even economically. So why is it so hard to stop?
“I am sensitive to the fact that these are rural communities where every job matters,” said Dominick DellaSala, president of Geos. “That’s why we said, ‘If you go this way, you get a wall of wood. If you go this way, you get a wall of litigation.’ We were trying to help.”
Keep reading the article by Sarah Gilman at bioGraphic
By Scott Streater
Reposted from E&E News on December 9, 2016
The Forest Service has formally approved a much-debated land-use plan amendment that calls for phasing out clearcutting of old-growth trees over a 16-year period in Tongass National Forest.
Some environmentalists criticized the move as not going far enough to protect the nation's largest forest, while the timber industry is likely to object, as well.
Tongass National Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart has finalized a record of decision (ROD) that calls for shifting to young-growth trees in areas that have been previously logged in the nearly 17-million-acre forest in southeast Alaska, according to a notice published in yesterday's Federal Register.