August 04, 2008
This second Record of Decision (ROD) now authorizes the harvest of 3 MMBF of timber within the units deferred in the original March 2007 Record of Decision. At that time, Alternative 3 was selected, but was modified to postpone harvest in the seven units containing inventoried roadless areas. Six of the proposed units and all but 20 acres of another unit are located within Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA) 502. The building of less than one mile of National Forest System road 1086500, designed to access these units, was also delayed in the first ROD and is now being proposed for construction.
The 2008 Tongass Land Management Plan went into effect on March 17, 2008. This new decision for timber harvest and road construction complies with the provisions of the Plan. The 2008 Plan adopts a Timber Sale Program Adaptive Management Strategy which utilizes three phases of planning within the suitable timber base. During Phase 1, timber harvest is restricted to developed areas and lower-value roadless areas that are in close proximity to roaded areas. The Adaptive Management Strategy designates the Scratchings ROD II project area as being within the Phase I suitable base, and available for harvest.
The public process for developing the Scratchings EIS included public meetings, subsistence hearings, and a 45-day Draft EIS comment period. Key issues from public comments included: timber harvest economics, cumulative impacts on the Dolores Watershed, and timber harvest and road construction in roadless and unroaded areas. In response to these and other concerns, the Final EIS reflected several changes from the Draft. The complete list of changes may be found in Chapter 2 of the FEIS.
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