By Bob Claus
March 07, 2011
On 3/3/11 Senator Murkowski, in a response to a proposed USFS budget, stated that “Folks in Southeast Alaska are skeptical and perhaps cynical about the promises made by the Forest Service.”
People I know across Southeast Alaska are excited and enthused about the Forest Service’s movement towards sustainable, community based forestry as outlined in the transition plan and exemplified by the recent Central Kupreanof timber sale record of decision.
Collaborative planning processes that seriously consider subsistence and recreation, value added forest products, the burgeoning visitor industry and sustaining fisheries habitat for the long haul are built into this new way of thinking and managing the forest.
The budget process proposed by the Forest Service that allows for stewardship areas and contracting, capturing the money generated from timber sales in region to support local restoration and stewardship jobs, is a good one. It allows for flexibility and adaptation to changing economics, and does not favor one group of stakeholders over another.
I hope the desire for increased economic activity does not result in a return to the failed policies of the past, but to a new and creative future for the Tongass.
Received March 04, 2011 - Published March 07, 2011
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