by Chris Wilhelm
November 07, 2004
If the round log export of red cedar to Washington state is cost prohibitive, as cited in Mr. Nichols' letter, why not process the timber here? After reading the Nichols letter, I have to ask what kind of timber jobs do Ketchikanites want? Any or all?
In my view, any state department, agency, or other state government entity should first and foremost promote the local economy when developing state resources. The few million dollars being spent here to cut the trees is peanuts compared to what our veneer plant could generate, or what Mr. Seley's mill might provide, or what another enterprise can generate with vision and political representation. Let the picket fences be built in New Mexico with Alaska red cedar. I think that's great. But let's make the pickets here.
Let the state offer incentives to local mills to be more competitive with mills Outside. Mental Health is after all a state department. They can freely require special criteria be met for harvest. It is not just about the bottom line here when the state government is involved. It isn't just a free-for-all.
It is my understanding our constitution says that all resources in Alaska belong to Alaskans, and are to be managed for their benefit.
I say that for Mental Health to cut timber, local processing must be a consideration before contracts may be signed. Promote our economy in Ketchikan! Manage our resources for our greatest benefit.
It's the economy after all, isn't it?
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.