When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight, it will decide whether or not to voice support for a “no action alternative” to the Roadless Rule exemption being proposed by the US Forest Service. 

The 2001 rule was put in place to limit further development and resource extraction in National Forests to areas which already have roads. Critics of the proposal to exempt the Tongass from the Roadless Rule argue that a full exemption would lead to increased old-growth logging and would have dramatic environmental consequences. 

Earlier in November, the Sitka Fish and Game Advisory Committee declared a climate change “state of emergency” for the Sitka area and passed a resolution in support of keeping the Roadless Rule fully intact in the Tongass. 

Assembly members Kevin Knox and Steven Eisenbeisz are sponsoring the resolution the assembly will consider tonight. The US Forest Service will continue taking public comment until the December 17 deadline. 

In other business- the assembly:  

  • Will consider approving around $15,000 in appropriations to cover legal fees to finalize the sale of a derelict utility dock at the Gary Paxton Industrial Park to Hanson Maritime. That money will come from the park’s working capital fund.
  • Will consider appointing Denise Ewing to a three-year term on the Health Needs and Human Services Commission. 
  • Will consider approving a liquor license renewal application for Bayview Pub 
  • Will proclaim Saturday, November 30, “Small Business Saturday.” 

The Sitka Assembly will hold a special work session to discuss the FY2021 budget process at 5 p.m. with the regular meeting convening at 6.

We will broadcast that meeting live at 6 p.m. following Alaska News Nightly.