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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: No "Young Growth Management" on the Tongass

By Mike Sallee


April 20, 2015
Monday PM

Kudos to Mr. Pickrell for his garden. He and I apparently have in common a liking for raspberries. And it does seem like Alaska is treated as little more than a colony when the US Dept. Of Agriculture sends an endless roster of Regional Foresters, Supervisors and District Rangers selected from a bureaucratic hierarchy of non-Alaskans to oversee Tongass management that increasingly relies on round log export. Furthermore, as a sawmill owner who mills predominately old growth logs from dead and down trees I would not be in favor eliminating logging of all old growth if that elimination included the dead and down.

But Mr. Pickrell’s analogy might have made more sense had he been growing celery, since Tongass trees are being “managed” primarily for their stems, not their fruiting bodies (cones).

As for the Tongass Forest belonging to Alaskans, Mr. Pickrell didn’t seem to have a problem with non-Alaskans like Louisiana Pacific, its plethora of shareholders, and Harry Merlo, LP’s CEO throwing their substantial weight around during the pulp mill era. Nor did I hear a peep out of Mr. Pickrell over Charlie Kim, Vancouver log exporting mogul, who owned 51% of Alcan Forest Products when it started. Nor more recently when millionaires like the Koch brothers funnel their considerable financial clout into the Republican Party. The Tongass belongs to all US citizens.

In closing I would suggest Mr. Pickrell peruse the six-plus page manifesto written by a lifelong Alaskan logger, my brother, R. David Sallee over twenty years ago, that shows to some extent why we are where we are today. I posted Dave’s letter on Sitnews Nov. 19,2004 and attach it here as well.

Mike Sallee
Ketchikan, Alaska


Received April 10, 2015 - Published April 20, 2015

Related Viewpoint:

letter No "Young Growth Management" on the Tongass By Robert W Pickrell


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