March 02, 2005
Alcan Timber Incorporated is harvesting timber by helicopter on non-National Forest System land near Ward Cove. The company recently applied for a permit to land and deck logs on a small area of the Tongass National Forest near the old Ward Lake Road. The half mile road is owned by the Alaska Department of Transportation.
After the timber removal and road improvements are complete, the project also will propose opening the gate on the Old Ward Lake road to improve public access to the area, and resolve parking congestion problems that occur at the closed gate.
Alcan plans to use a 50-by-200 foot temporary area to land and deck about one-half million board feet of timber. Log trucks would haul the logs down to the sort yard at Ward Cove. People are urged to avoid the area during log removal operations.
According to the Forest Service, alders will be removed to create the area and bunker logs will be used to minimize soil disturbance. Log loading equipment and trucks will not leave the existing road and the operation will take about one month to complete. Alcan would like to begin operations in mid-March.
Ketchikan Misty Fiords District Ranger Lynn Kolund said the proposal would support Alcan's timber operation. Secondly, it will benefit local-area residents in several ways.
"Alcan plans to provide at least six cords of cut and split firewood for use at the Ward Lake Recreation Area," said Kolund. "The firewood will come from the alders and other wood they remove from their timber harvesting operation."
"The road is owned by the State," Kolund added. "Alcan is getting a permit from the State to use the road and will make safety improvements to the road. After operations are completed, the road will be open to the public. Vehicular traffic will be allowed on the road up to the small parking area at the frog ponds. The area will be managed under the same conditions as the Ward Lake Recreation Area."
The Forest Service encourages the public to comment on the proposal.
Send comments to the District Ranger, Ketchikan-Misty Fiords Ranger District, 3031 Tongass Avenue, Ketchikan, AK 99901 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
"To help us meet our tight time frame, we would appreciate public comments to by March 11," said Kolund.
Source of News: