"This agreement shows that it’s possible to provide enough timber to the existing Tongass mills without clearcutting roadless, backcountry places that are important to local communities for hunting, fishing, tourism, and recreation," added Tom Waldo of Earthjustice, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the case. "There is simply no need to log valuable roadless valleys in the Tongass."
"This settlement is very practical. We’re ensuring that local mills have the timber they need while the court continues to focus on solving serious problems with the mistakenly high logging level in the 1997 Forest Plan -- problems that the Forest Service has admitted to," said Aurah Landau, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council staffer.
The challenge to the 1997 Forest Plan, which centers on the impact of a Forest Service error that doubled market demand projections, will continue in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Earthjustice is representing the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Wilderness Society, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and National Audubon Society.