SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Vallenar Bay Timber Sale Preliminary Best Interest Finding released


February 07, 2015
Saturday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Alaska Division of Forestry is seeking public comment on a Preliminary Best Interest Finding describing the Division’s intent to harvest approximately 12 million board feet in the Vallenar Bay unit of the Southeast State Forest on Gravina Island in 2016.

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The project proposes to establish access to the state forest from the existing road system on Gravina Island by constructing a forest road from the Lewis Reef area to the existing logging road on the southeast side of Vallenar Bay. The Preliminary Best Interest Finding examines various issues related to the question of whether or not it is in the state’s best interest to access the Vallenar Bay area and proceed with a timber sale contract.

Developing access to the Vallenar area is part of the State’s intent to actively manage the Southeast State Forest as a “working forest” consistent with the principles of multiple use and sustained yield. A “working forest” means utilizing forest resources to create jobs and support healthy communities through active forest management, while protecting fish and wildlife habitat, providing the public with access to recreation and other multiple use of state land, and maintaining public benefits such as clean air, land, and water.

The Alaska Legislature established the Southeast State Forest in 2010 from unencumbered state-owned lands where timber harvesting was generally allowed. The primary purpose for this state forest is “timber management that provides for the production, utilization, and replenishment of timber resources while allowing other beneficial uses of public land and resources” (AS 41.17.200(a)).

Copies of the Preliminary Best Interest Finding are available for review at the division’s Area Office and the Division’s web site at, and at the community libraries in Ketchikan and Craig.

Public comments must be received by March 5, 2015.

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

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