JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — About 150 people turned out in Juneau for a rally opposing expanded development in the Tongass National Forest.

The Juneau Empire reports the rally Saturday was in support of the 2001 National Roadless Rule.

The U.S. Forest Service is developing a state-specific program for the Alaska that could open parts of the Tongass.

The Roadless Rule was established in 2001 to protect roadless forests, which make up one-third of National Forest lands.

State Rep. Sara Hannan of Juneau told the crowd the Tongass remains the crown jewel of the national forest system.

Tlingit activist and Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network member Wanda Culp says the bond between Alaska Natives and traditional lands is inseparable.

Alaska’s U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski support increased resource development in the forest.

___

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com