August 25, 2006
Chris Budke, Acting Hoonah District Ranger, explained that this sale is larger than many recent sales planned by the Tongass National Forest in an effort to provide a stable supply of wood to the local wood products industry over time: "Our primary intent with the Iyouktug project is to make numerous small sales available over the course of a decade, though the project would not preclude us from offering one or more larger sales if such interest exists. A decision to implement this project could provide some much needed stability to local sawmills and timber operators." The sale is being planned as part of the Tongass timber sale program.
Additional features of the proposal include construction of approximately 5 miles of National Forest System road and 12 miles of temporary road, as well as reconstruction of about 3 miles of existing road. In addition, the boundaries of two small old-growth habitat reserve areas would be adjusted so that they better meet the criteria for such areas specified in the Tongass forest plan.
The planning team will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to disclose the anticipated effects of the project on the environment. At this point in the planning process, the team is gathering information from the public to develop alternative proposals to be considered in the EIS. "Our planning team consists of wide range of resource specialists, including a wildlife biologist, a hydrologist, and an archeologist," said Hans von Rekowski, the project leader, "Nevertheless, we rely on the people that we serve to share their insights about our projects. Sometimes they raise issues that we may not have considered."
An open house is scheduled
for September 6 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm at the Hoonah Ranger
District office to provide information about the Iyouktug project
and to give people an opportunity to comment on the proposal.
To learn more about this project, including alternative means
of submitting comments, please contact Hans von Rekowski at 907-747-4217.
The Forest Service welcomes comments throughout the planning
process, but those received by October 2, 2006 will be most useful
in developing alternatives to the initial proposal.
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