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USDA/FS RIN: 0596-AD37 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: Alaska Roadless Rule 

The proposed rule will maintain the current protection status under the 2001 Roadless Rule of the inventoried roadless areas on the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. Additionally, it will establish a new land classification system designed for forest management, economic development opportunities, and the exercise of valid existing rights or other non-discretionary legal authorities.

Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 36 CFR 294, subpart E     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 472    U.S.C. 201   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

In response to the State of Alaska’s petition for rulemaking (January 19, 2018), the Forest Service and State of Alaska agree the controversy surrounding the management of Tongass roadless areas may be resolved through state-specific rulemaking. A long-term, durable approach to roadless area management is desired that accommodates the unique biological, social, and economic situation found in and around the Tongass National Forest.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

16 U.S.C. 472, 529, 551, 1608, 1613; 23 U.S.C. 201, 205.


Through the rulemaking process, create a state-specific alternative to the 2001 Roadless Rule based on recommendations from the State of Alaska and public input.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

Except for the administrative change to the timber land suitability determinations described below, there would be no changes to the Forest Plan. The proposed rule does not authorize any site-specific projects or other ground-disturbing activities. Specific projects that include timber harvest, road construction, and/or road reconstruction must undergo site-specific environmental analysis when they are proposed to comply with NEPA.


Eliminating the roadless designation and allowing timber and mineral development increases the potential to adversely impact roadless area characteristics.

The risk to the recreation/tourism industry is inversely related to the risk to timber industry. Increased timber development potential increases the risk to the recreation/tourism industry through reduction of areas desirable for primitive and semi-primitive recreation opportunities and adverse impacts to scenic quality and aesthetic values. 

The risk to adversely impact terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat and diversity and the health and productivity of important watersheds is also inversely related to the construction of roads for timber development or other industrial use.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/17/2019  84 FR 55522   
NPRM Comment Period End  12/16/2019 
Final Action  06/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Undetermined 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Migliori
Department of Agriculture
Forest Service
1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250
Phone:202 205-2496