November 30, 2009
The $2,500 grant helps the Southeast Conference, a regional economic development non-profit, pay for a "young-growth timber cruise" on the southern portion of the Tongass National Forest. The timber cruise is expected to provide a timely snapshot of the current value of the young-growth forest in the region.
This grant is one way for The Nature Conservancy to help Southeast Alaska communities have better information at hand as they plan second-growth timber management in the future.
"For local businesses and local governments to plan for the future, they need to understand the timber resource of Southeast Alaska. This timber cruise in the southern Tongass will help answer important questions about the region's second-growth timber supply. The transition from old-growth forest to second-growth forest depends on efforts like these led by the Southeast Conference," said Norm Cohen of The Nature Conservancy in Alaska.
The Nature Conservancy is one of several local donors to the Southeast Conference effort to better understand the timber value of the region's second-growth forest. The City and Borough of Juneau, the City and Borough of Wrangell, the City of Coffman Cove, Goldbelt, the State of Alaska Division of Forestry, and the Resource Advisory Committee of Ketchikan also are contributing to the project.
While the Southeast Conference timber cruise provides a snapshot of the timber value of second-growth forest south of Frederick Sound, Cohen of The Nature Conservancy stresses a more complete inventory is necessary.
"We urge that the comprehensive Forest Service Young Growth Inventory be completed in 2010. This effort began in 2005, but has stalled since. This inventory is essential because it would provide a missing piece in the local economic picture. A more complete inventory will serve as a catalyst for jobs and development in Southeast Alaska," says Cohen of The Nature Conservancy.
The Tongass Futures Roundtable, a collaborative group of Tongass stakeholders, supported the Forest Service Young Growth Inventory at its meeting in Coffman Cove in May, 2009.
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