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Default Forest Service dismisses timber-sale challenges PRINCE OF WALES: Environmental groups' concerns

yet another installation of "healthy forests" from Bushie and his eco-terrorists.

(Aozotorp) wrote in message ...
http://www.adn.com/business/story/37...-3825419c.html

Forest Service dismisses timber-sale challenges
PRINCE OF WALES: Environmental groups' concerns ruled unjustified.


By PAULA DOBBYN
Anchorage Daily News

(Published: August 30, 2003)





The Forest Service will allow a controversial timber sale on Prince of Wales
Island to go forward despite heavy opposition from environmentalists.

The 1,225-acre sale, called Cholmondeley, is in a roadless area of the Tongass
National Forest. Some 21 miles of logging road would be carved into the forest
so that loggers can access the trees. The sale, which can now go to bid at any
time, would yield nearly 30 million board feet of timber and at least 100 jobs
in a remote part of Southeast Alaska, officials with the federal agency said.

"It's good that they're going to get on with the timber sale. It's good news,"
said Owen Graham, who heads the Alaska Forest Association, a timber industry
trade group. The industry Graham represents has shrunk dramatically in recent
years as a result of markets, politics and lawsuits.

With Friday's announcement, the Forest Service formally rejected administrative
appeals by the Forest Conservation Council, the Sierra Club's Juneau chapter,
Earthjustice, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and the Sitka
Conservation Council.

The groups raised a variety of concerns over how the logging would affect
wildlife, drinking water quality, regeneration of cedar trees and even whether
the timber harvesting makes economic sense. Nearly half of the timber would be
yellow and red cedar, much of it for export, said Robin Dale, a Forest Service
appeal coordinator.

Much of the old-growth timber on Prince of Wales Island, near Ketchikan, has
been logged since the 1950s. From the air, the island appears like a patchwork
of clear-cuts and virgin forest. Logging the Cholmondeley area will further
degrade an already fragmented wildlife habitat, putting pressure on species
such as Sitka black-tailed deer, Queen Charlotte goshawks, wolves and marten,
environmentalists argued in their appeals.

"It's one of the last unlogged drainages in eastern Prince of Wales," said
Aurah Landau, with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. "That's why it's
so important to have it as a corridor for the movement of animals north to
south on the island."

Ray F. Massey, a Forest Service spokesman, said agency scientists took a hard
look at the environmentalists' concerns but in the end felt they weren't
justified.

"They were considered and dismissed," Massey said.


 
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