JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Conservationists say a spending package pending in Congress upholds protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.

The Alaska Wilderness League says the bill does not include a previously discussed provision that would have exempted the Tongass from federal restrictions on road-building and timber harvests in roadless areas.

The group says it also doesn’t include language that would undo a planned transition from old-growth logging.

Senate energy committee spokeswoman Nicole Daigle says U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will continue seeking more access to the Tongass for local stakeholders.

Daigle says the bill directs the U.S. Forest Service to complete a “proper inventory” of how much and when young-growth timber will be available.

It also delays a final transition from an old-growth to primarily young-growth timber program pending steps including the inventory.

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