May 02, 2008
The Tongass is the largest of the Forest Service's national forests at almost 17 million acres, encompassing most of southeast Alaska.
The Iyouktug area is located about 12 miles east-southeast of Hoonah, between Freshwater Bay and Icy Straits, in the Iyouktug and Suntaheen Creek valleys. The sales would generate almost 42 million board feet (MMBF) of saw and utility log volume from the 40,650-acre project area. The Selected Alternative in the ROD allows for clearcutting on 554 acres and partial harvest on 2,744 acres. The ROD also specifies that of the timber harvested, 188 acres will be harvested using shovel yarding; 554 acres using cable yarding; and the remaining 2,556 acres using helicopter yarding.
The Selected Alternative in the ROD includes construction of 2.8 miles of National Forest System (NFS) road, construction of 3.8 miles of temporary road, and reconstruction of 6.3 miles of existing NFS road. Road construction and reconstruction costs are estimated at about $2 million. Except for 0.4 mile of roads that access rock pits, all constructed and reconstructed NFS roads will be maintained by the contractor during the timber sale and will be closed to motorized vehicles after timber sale harvest and placed in storage. All new temporary roads will be decommissioned after timber harvest.
The Selected Alternative includes the potential use of an existing marine access facility (MAF) designed to transfer logs by barge or raft. The Long Island MAF is approximately 1 mile southwest of Hoonah on non-National Forest land located outside of the Iyouktug project area.
In signing this decision, Supervisor Forrest Cole said, "I evaluated the trade-off between resource protection, social values, and timber sale economics. The Selected Alternative provides a beneficial mix of resources for the public, within a framework of existing laws, regulations, policies, public needs and desires, and the capabilities of the land, while meeting the stated Purpose and Need for this project." The decision to implement the Selected Alternative conforms to the 1997 Forest Plan and the ROD for the 2008 Forest Plan Amendment.
The decision in the ROD can be appealed by individuals or groups who submitted comments during the comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Iyouktug Timber Sales. The Notice of Appeal must be made in writing to the Appeal Deciding Officer at the correct location within 45 calendar days of the date that the legal notification of this decision is published in the Ketchikan Daily News, the official newspaper of record. The publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file and appeal. The Appeal Deciding Officer is, Regional Forester Dennis Bschor, at US Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 21628 (709 W. 9th Street) in Juneau, Alaska (99802-1628); Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org; Fax: (907) 586-7840.
Copies of the Final Environmental
Impact Statement and ROD are available on the Tongass National
Forest website, at www.tongass.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/projects/projects.shtml,
or at the Hoonah Ranger District office, 907-945-1200.
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