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Federal appeals court to review decision exempting Tongass from Roadless Rule

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JUNEAU, Alaska — A federal appeals court is set to review a decision that allowed the Tongass National Forest to be exempt from federal restrictions on road-building and timber harvests in "roadless" areas.

An 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday.

In March, a divided three-judge panel sided with the state of Alaska and found the U.S. Department of Agriculture had legitimate grounds in 2003 to temporarily exempt the Tongass from the Roadless Rule.

The court in August granted a request for an 11-member panel to reconsider the case.

The case is scheduled to be argued in a courtroom in California.

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