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.
- The social media company posted stronger-than-expected revenue of $616 million in the third quarter — even as revenue growth continued to slow. To be more efficient, it'll cut around 350 jobs.
- The PFD veto of $666 million covered a little more than a fifth of the budget gap.
- The CEO of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority stepped down on Monday. Jeff Jessee served as CEO for 21 years. According to a press release from the organization, he is transitioning to a new role ahead of his planned retirement in three years.
- The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is the state’s anti-discrimination agency. In 2011, a legislative audit found that the agency wasn’t doing its job. Five years later, the agency is still trying to move forward.