Youth Advisory Council Meets
November 18, 2015
Pictured from left to right: Patti Krosse (FS), Janette Turk (FS), Cameron Edwards, Sue Howle (FS), Rizza Rodriguez, Eliah Anderson, AJ Dela Cruz, Bernadette Franulovich, Katie Powers, Kaileigh Krosse, Cheyenne Mathews, Sage Acteson, Faith L. Duncan (FS)
The need for the amendment or change comes from a July 2013 memo from U. S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (Secretary’s Memorandum 1044-009) directing the Tongass to transition its forest management program to be more ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable, as well as information generated during the Five-Year Review of the Forest Plan in 2013. An amendment is needed to accelerate the transition to a young-growth forest management program, and to do so in a way that preserves a viable timber industry that provides jobs and opportunities for residents of Southeast Alaska. Changes to the Forest Plan are also needed to make the development of renewable energy resources more permissible, including access and utility corridors to stimulate economic development in Southeast Alaska communities.
The Tongass National Forest Interpretation and Conservation Education Program's Youth Advisory Council members are selected by the junior-senior advisor based on academic excellence and interest in science and humanities. According to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service, the team has a busy schedule ahead of them, including reviewing and making recommendations regarding the amendment, which focuses on old growth to predominantly young growth management in a way that is economically viable for the existing industry, while recognizing and balancing the other unique and equally important resource values of the Tongass.
Three Youth Advisory Council meetings were held at Ketchikan High School from the fall of 2014 through the spring of 2015. The Youth Advisory Council members participated in discussions about the emphases of the forest plan amendment and attended a fact-gathering open house.
Each year, new juniors, and returning seniors will form an active council; learn about the timelines and scope of forest planning; and how they can participate in the effort.
Faith L. Duncan is the Tongass National Forest Interpretation and Conservation Education Program Manager.
Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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