Ground Truth: Briefly

Roadless Area Conservation Act

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) reintroduced conservation legislation — the Roadless Area Conservation Act (S. 877). The proposed legislation would permanently prevent logging and related activities in designated roadless areas of National Forest land, including parts of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest that the Trump administration exempted from the Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

The bill would make the 2001 roadless area rule a federal law, but with no Republican co-sponsors, its passage by the Senate is far from certain, especially in light of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) support for the Tongass exemption.

Meanwhile, the Village of Kake on Kupreanof Island in southern Alaska filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture for granting the Roadless Rule exemption.

In February, District Judge Sharon Gleason granted a 120-day delay in the case to allow time for the Biden administration to decide how it will proceed with the case.