SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Tongass NF Supervisor's Navy Timber Sale Decision Reversed


July 23, 2009

Juneau, Alaska - Alaska Regional Forester Denny Bschor reversed Tongass Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole's decision on the Navy Timber Sale scheduled for Etolin Island in Southeast Alaska. Bschor determined that the selected alternative in the record of decision had significant changes from those alternatives analyzed in detail in the final environmental impact statement. The magnitude of the changes made in the Navy ROD made it difficult to fully assess the environmental effects of those changes.

As a result of the reversal, the Tongass Forest Supevisor has been instructed to either: 1) select an alternative that was analyzed in detail in the draft environmental impact statement and FEIS or 2) supplement the DEIS to provide the detailed analysis for the selected alternative. Both options ensure that the public has had or will have an adquate opportunity to review and comment on the alternatives analyzed in detail.

The selected alternative would have allowed the harvest of approximately 72.8 million board feet of timber, the construction of about 8.1 miles of new national forest system road, 8.8 miles of temporary road, and the reconstruction of about 3.5 miles of existing road.

The Forest Service received appeals from four groups:

  • Juneau Group of the Sierra Club;
  • Southeast Alaska Conservation Council;
  • The Wilderness Society;
  • Greenpeace, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Tongass Conservation Society, and Sitka Conservation Society

The appeals raised a number of issues with the environmental analysis and the main issues were: range of alternatives, entry in roadless areas, timber economics, road costs and maintenance, silviculture, and effects to wildlife, watersheds, and climate change.

After considering all the issues presented by Appeal Reviewing Officer Paul Brewster, Bschor elected to reverse the forest supervisor's decision.



Source of News:

U.S. Forest Service



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