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Controversial Roadless Rule the subject of public meeting


Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and the Trump administration want to modify a rule that protects national forests from certain development. 

The roadless rule prevents roads and logging national forests, such as the Chugach and Tongass. 

"Over the decades down in the Tongass we've seen the large tree old growth forests really get hammered through 1950's pulp mills all the way up through current clear cutting that still happens," Audubon Alaska policy director Susan Culliney said. "Over the decades over half of that large tree old growth resource has been cut down. The roadless rule as it works on the landscape today works helps protect about half of what's left. That old growth forest from our perspective is really important for birds, and salmon, and wildlife that then, in turn, form the sustainable economy for Southeast Alaska."

A public meeting will be held 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the University of Alaska Anchorage Gorsuch Commons room 107. Audubon Alaska and others are organizing a group to show up at the meeting, which will be hosted by the Forest Service. 

"We really look at it through the lens of protecting the remaining old growth forests on the Tongass here in Alaska," Culliney said. 

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Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the host of the meeting. This story has been updated.