A state-sponsored economic development panel wants suggestions for creating new timber industry jobs.
The Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force will hear comments from the public during a meeting Friday and Saturday in Coffman Cove. The town is a former logging camp on Prince of Wales Island.
Governor Sean Parnell created the task force last spring, with a focus on Southeast.
State Forester Chris Maisch, a member, says it has a number of goals.
“One of those does speak to state forest recommendations for additional acreage or even recommendations for additional units in the state forest. And, of course, that can be statewide, potentially,” Maisch says.
Public comments will be taken starting at 1:15 p.m. Friday at Coffman Cove City Hall. Teleconference connections will also be available at Department of Natural Resources conference rooms in Juneau and Fairbanks, and at Division of Forestry offices in Anchorage and Ketchikan.
Saturday’s session, at 11:20 a.m., will take comments via phone. The number is 1-800-315-6338. Enter the code 8467# when prompted. (Link to meeting details here.)
In addition to state forest management, the task force is focusing on state harvest rules, timber demand, and Tongass timber sales.
Parnell created the task force after pulling out of the Tongass Futures Roundtable, which had a broader agenda and membership, including logging opponents.
- High schoolers tackled a serious topic at this year's annual student government conference: gun violence at school. They listened to a presentation from an organization called Sandy Hook Promise learned about their peers efforts to prevent gun violence on campus.
- Visitors to military bases who don’t have compliant IDs will have to be accompanied by military personnel, which the leaders say will be impractical.
- Southeast Alaska’s independent ferry system is working its way out of a ridership slump. Numbers are up on the Hollis-to-Ketchikan route.
- For most of the state, the entire month of March has been clear and cold.