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Second Record of Decision for Scratchings Timber Sale Released


August 04, 2008

Craig, Alaska - The Tongass National Forest has released the Scratchings Timber Sale Area Record of Decision II, for the project area located on Suemez Island in the Craig Ranger District on Prince of Wales Island. The decision applies to seven timber harvest units originally analyzed in the Scratchings Timber Sale Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The decision to harvest these units was postponed in accordance with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Forest Service Settlement Agreement filed with the District Court on May 18, 2007.

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.


On the Web:

Complete information can be found on the Forest website


Source of News:

U.S. Forest Service - Tongass National Forest


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Ketchikan, Alaska