Road, logging restrictions to end in largest national forest
JUNEAU, Alaska – The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has decided to exempt the Tongass National Forest, the country's largest national forest, from the so-called roadless rule, protections that ban road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions. About 9.4 million of Tongass' 16.7 million acres are considered roadless areas, according to the Forest Service, which falls under the USDA. The majority of Tongass is in a natural condition, and the forest is one of the largest, relatively intact temperate rainforests in the world, the agency said. Many of the roadless areas are wildlife habitats, ecosystems and natural areas like old-growth temperate rainforests, ice fields and glaciers, and islands facing the open Pacific Ocean “that exist nowhere else in the National Forest system,” according to the Forest Service.
Alaska Bar sidesteps contentious Dershowitz keynote choice
ANCHORAGE, Alaska Just days after the announcement that famed trial attorney Alan Dershowitz would be the keynote speaker sparked a controversy among its members, the Alaska Bar Association has canceled this years annual conference. Bill Walker, Dershowitz seems a complicated selection for the keynote in Alaska, where rates of violence against women are among the highest in the nation. Im sure he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to represent Jeffrey Epstein, Kendall said. I have no sympathy for that.Stone said the bar associations governing board will meet in September to discuss the selection process for keynote speaker going forward. Dershowitz said he would love to come to Alaska and give the keynote in 2021.