Regarding the My Turn published Sept. 1, 2o21 by Robert Venerables and Bill Jeffres, reinstatement of Roadless Rule protections on the Tongass will not hamper mine exploration or development. This repetition of the same untruth will never make it true. Despite the Chicken Little predictions, access to valid mining claims is guaranteed under federal law whether the claims are in Wilderness areas or inventoried Roadless areas. Currently there are at least 20 active mines or mineral explorations occurring in the Tongass inside inventoried Roadless areas.
The example of the Bokan Mountain Project is a case in point. It already has road access to tidewater. The only thing stopping development is the owners themselves. The project has never been shown to be economically feasible and they have been embroiled in lawsuits over the technology they planned to use to upgrade the ore. They have not conducted serious exploration at the site since 2013. The fact that this project has not been developed has nothing to do with roadless protections.
Management of the Tongass’s resources must be based on facts. No one does themselves any favors by continuously spreading falsehoods.