Young to Forest Service Chief: “What Are You Doing in SE to Make Sure We Have a Steady Yield of Timber?”
March 25, 2015
Congressman Young began his remarks by questioning Chief Tidwell on the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request, which he says only “furthers the agency’s decline in timber management practices to the detriment of the Alaskan and American people.” He continued by prodding Chief Tidwell on the many failures of the U.S. Forest Service in Southeast Alaska.
Congressman Young Questioning U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell
Congressman Young later pressed Tidwell on the issue of hydro power and what the U.S. Forest Service is doing to streamline the process for countless Alaskan communities that have submitted applications to develop the renewable energy resource.
“In the area of hydro, we run into road blocks all the time from the Forest Service,” Young said. “In your budget have you made a proposal to expedite the process to develop hydro so we don’t burn diesel fuel; so our small communities don’t have to fight the battle with your agency, the EPA, and everybody else to try to build real renewable energy? Is there anything in your mindset to work on hydro power?
Immediately following the Committee hearing, Congressman shared his frustration for the U.S. Forest Service lack of commitment for truly managing Alaska’s timber resources:
“Timber sales in Alaska have been reduced to less than ten percent of the allowable quantity in this Administration’s management plan, which has resulted in the loss of jobs, the shuttering of numerous mills across the state, and countless economic losses to our communities. While the Forest Service says they have prepared to offer four 10-year timber sales – each with a volume of 150-200 million board feet – they have dragged their feet and converted these plans to smaller stewardship projects. This will neither restore confidence in our industry nor allow investment in new facilities. Without a clear plan for increased timber sales by the Forest Service, Alaska’s timber industry will continue to suffer and eventually cease to exist.”
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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