Murkowski Disappointed, Frustrated by Roadless Rule Decision

Vows to Seek Legislative, Administrative Remedies to Restore Alaska Exemption

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement after a judge from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit from Alaskans seeking to overturn the 2001 national Inventoried Roadless Rule.

“While I am still reviewing this decision, I am deeply disappointed to see it handed down,” Murkowski said. “A judge can dismiss a case, but Alaskans cannot dismiss the negative impacts the roadless rule is having on our communities. The rule has decimated our timber industry and serves mainly to prevent the access needed to construct everything from roads and power lines to energy and mining projects. I recognize the damage this rule is causing, particularly in Southeast, and will pursue every possible legislative and administrative option to exempt us from it.”

The roadless rule was imposed by the Clinton administration just days before it left office in January 2001. It prohibits timber harvesting and road construction on 9.5 million acres in the Tongass National Forest, an area nearly twice the size of New Jersey, and impacts every community and industry in that region. The rule also applies to 5.4 million acres of land in the Chugach National Forest in southcentral Alaska.

Murkowski is chairman of both the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.

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