SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Timber Sale Misinformation
By Larry Edwards


May 27, 2011

This month an editorial and a news story in the Ketchikan Daily News have repeated significant misinformation about Tongass timber sales that came from a press release by Governor Parnell. After over two weeks the Daily News has not published a short letter I wrote to inform Ketchikan residents of the error, so now I use this forum.

Governor Parnell said in his press release that of Tongass timber sales purchased over the past three years, "not a single one of these sales went unopposed by a national environmental organization." The Daily News reported similarly.

The governor's statement is not even remotely true.

Fifty-six sales were unopposed by anyone in those years, of the 61 that were purchased. (The other five sales were in three timber projects that were litgated. Injunctions were sought for three of those sales, and in the one case concluded so far, Orion North, a permanent injunction was issued.)

To substantiate my LTE, I provided separately to the Daily News links to Forest Service documents listing all the timber sales made over the three years, along with a summary of that information.

Fact checking is important, even if the information comes from the governor.

But perhaps the Daily News simply finds the truth to be inconvenient, even when a clear error is pointed out.

Larry Edwards
Sitka, AK

About: "Larry Edwards is a Greenpeace forest campaigner. He has lived in Southeast Alaska for 34 years."

Received May 27, 2011 - Published May 27, 2011



Editor's Note: SitNews also published Gov. Parnell's release which included the statement which is alleged to be incorrect by Mr. Edwards.

New State Timber Task Force Announced - Quoting a news release from the Office of the Governor, Southeast Alaska has lost thousands of timber related jobs in the last 15-20 years. Alaska has 365 million of acres of land, of which 17 million acres are Tongass National Forest lands. In the last 3 years, these national forest lands produced roughly 60 million board feet of timber that was bid on and purchased. Not a single one of these sales went unopposed by a national environmental organization. In comparison, Washington State, with about 25 percent of the amount of national forest land that Alaska has, produced 7.9 billion board feet of timber from 21 million acres of public and private forest lands in the same time period. - More...
SitNews - May 06, 2011

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