SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Whale Pass Timber Sale Plan Released With No Significant Changes

April 06, 2023

(SitNews) Klawock, Alaska - According to the final Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) for the Whale Pass Timber Sale released yesterday, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Forestry and Fire Protection have made no significant changes - no additional buffer zone above houses and no forbearance in terms of logging outside Southeast State Forest lands. This despite overwhelming opposition to this timber sale says the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

Quoting a news release from the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), this means the FLUP was released without consideration of the community of Whale Pass and how those living directly below the sale will be affected despite outcries from residents, Whale Pass Mayor Dawn Waldal-Anderson, and newly formed advocacy groups like Friends of Whale Pass. Currently, there is a tight 100-foot buffer zone between the clearcut sale area and resident property lines. What’s more, this sale - and other recently announced, old-growth sales like it including El Capitan Timber Sale — will affect tourism to the area, subsistence hunting, and quality of life for the residents of Whale Pass and Prince of Wales Island.

jpg Whale Pass Timber Sale Plan Released With No Changes

A ribbon marks a tree in the Prince of Wales Island town of Whale Pass.
Photo courtesy of Maranda Hamme, SEACC

“The state's lack of empathy towards Whale Pass residents directly affected by the sale is apparent and disappointing,” says James Greeley, Whale Pass resident, member of Friends of Whale Pass, and The City of Whale Pass Councilmember. “They continue to plan on zero changes to property buffers and the dangerous and destructive use of cable logging directly above residential homes.”

“I am disappointed and frustrated by this decision, especially in terms of the potential to include Southeast State Forest and other state-managed lands in carbon storage programs. These parcels would add huge value to the pilot projects described in the Governor’s carbon bills,” says Katie Rooks, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s Policy Analyst. “Additionally, it is clear to me now that the Division of Forestry does not care about the Alaskans it harms with timber sales on public land; it seems obvious that the DOF cares only about extremely minimal and short-term benefits to the timber industry.”

This 292-acre timber sale is located in the 2017-incorporated town of Whale Pass on the north end of Prince of Wales Island. The community has approximately 60 residents. This decision follows a Forest Land Use Plan comment period (ending Oct. 17, 2022), which was tailed by a comment period on the Preliminary Five-Year Schedule of Timber Sales for the Southern Southeast Area for 2023 to 2027 (Jan. 27 to Feb. 28, 2023).

An eligible person affected by this decision of the department, and who provided timely earlier written comment to the department, may request reconsideration to the DNR Commissioner (per AS 44.37.011 and 11 AAC 02). Any request for reconsideration must be received by the DNR Commissioner’s Office within twenty (20) calendar days after issuance of the decision (04/05/23) under 11 AAC 02.040. 

Reconsideration must be accompanied by the fee established in 11 AAC 05.160(d)(1)(F), which has been set at $200 under the provisions of 11 AAC 05.160(a)-(b).]  A copy of 11 AAC 02 is available on the department’s website at

If no request for reconsideration is filed within the 20 days, this decision goes into effect as a final order and decision on April 26, 2023.

Reconsideration may be mailed or hand-delivered to:

DNR Commissioner’s Office
550 W. 7th Avenue,
Suite 1400,
Anchorage, Alaska, 99501

Or Faxed to


Or sent by electronic mail to

On the Web:

Final Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) for the Whale Pass Timber Sale - April 05, 2023

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC)

Alaska Division of Forestry and Fire Protection

Alaska Division of Natural Resources


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