Timber Task Force meets in Coffman Cove

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.

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