Breaking the Logjam on Logjam
August 11, 2009
(SitNews) - On Monday, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council,
Audubon Alaska and the Alaska Wilderness League presented a collaborative
Alaskan proposal for the Logjam timber sale in the Tongass National
Forest to Regional Forester, Denny Bschor. The proposal balances
the need for jobs, economic timber supply and healthy fish and
wildlife populations on Prince of Wales Island.
"This proposal can get mills a mid-term supply of timber
right away, and it protects critical habitat bridges for deer
and other wildlife locals depend on," said Lindsey Ketchel,
executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.
To strike this balance, the proposal for timber, jobs and conservation
keeps timber costs down by concentrating logging near existing
roads, calls for fewer roads crossing salmon streams, and minimizes
cutting in the most critical areas for wildlife.
"We understand the importance of these jobs and the importance
of deer to local families," said Ketchel. "This balanced
approach protects jobs now and contributes to more timber, more
fish and more wildlife over the long term."
The proposal offers significant timber volume (over 30 million
board feet) and protects critical links between blocks of high
quality old-growth habitat around Sweetwater Lake between Sarkar
and Honker Divide. Because of their location, these habitat
bridges are essential to sustaining healthy deer and other wildlife
populations up and down Prince of Wales Island.
"Science tells us the Sweetwater Lake area is one of the
most important wildlife habitats on Prince of Wales Island and
is a conservation priority for the entire Tongass," said
Stan Senner, executive director of Audubon Alaska.
This sale is critical to both the industry and wildlife, so beginning
in May 2008, conservation groups in the region began meeting
with various local sawmills, wildlife biologists, the Forest
Service and the State of Alaska to understand what they need
from this sale, and what they value in the Sweetwater and Logjam
watersheds. The groups utilized the most
current, peer-reviewed science and spent time on the ground
reviewing proposed cutting units in developing the plan.
"This balanced proposal represents a new way of doing business
on the Tongass," said Ketchel. "It's not perfect,
but it allows everyone to get much of what they need and shows
how collaborative approaches can break the costly stalemates
of the past."
"The proposed Logjam timber sale could be a great opportunity
to try a new approach, and we hope that this proposal will prompt
positive discussions so a more balanced sale can move forward,"
On the Web:
Read the Southeast Alaska Conservation
Council, Audubon Alaska and the Alaska Wilderness League's proposal
Read the recent LA Times editorial
about collaborative opportunities http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-tongass8-2009aug08,0,332340.story
Source of News:
Southeast Alaska Conservation
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