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Giving Compromise A Chance In Alaska

Posted by nationalforestlawblog on September 7, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Alaska - Lindsey Ketchel, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, writes this opinion piece in the Juneau Empire.  His group reached a successful compromise with the Forest Service over the Logjam timber sale.  He writes:

 

Instead of leaving the future of our forests up to someone else to decide, many folks are trying hard to work together as neighbors instead of adversaries to find workable solutions.


Fighting and blaming each other wastes resources, time and energy, and it keeps us from seeing ways forward that might bring each side a lot closer to what they need. In the case of the Logjam timber sale on Prince of Wales Island, a good start to meeting both sides' needs is already on the table.


It may not be perfect, but the proposal submitted by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Audubon Alaska, and the Alaska Wilderness League during the initial public process, and again during the subsequent appeal process, is a good faith attempt to find common ground, provide significant jobs, and conserve important fish and wildlife resources on Prince of Wales Island. It can be viewed online at seacc.org/files/Logjam%20Official%20Request%20-%20exhibits.pdf


It offers more than 37 million board feet of timber. That's more than half of what the Forest Service proposed initially and in its most recent decision. This balance could preserve critical wildlife corridors and still supply around two years' worth of timber for Viking Lumber or a similar mill. I strongly recommend everyone read the Logjam decision and the various appeal proposals on the Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r10/ tongass/newsroom/newsroom_specialreports.shtml.


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