The U.S. Forest Service is allowing more planning time for a series of controversial timber sales that could take place on Prince of Wales Island.
The agency worked on the project during the partial government shutdown, which drew sharp criticism from environmental groups.
A public meeting was announced and then canceled within the same week in January.
Now, the Forest Service has rescheduled that meeting for Feb. 20 in Klawock.
Buck Lindekugel from the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council opposes large-scale logging on these lands. But he’s pleased the Forest Service is taking longer to consider his objections.
“They should have extended it, and they shouldn’t have been working on this when the government was shut down the first time,” Lindekugel said.
An email from the regional forester says that February meeting date is firm — even if another government shutdown happens again.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
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- Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the state of Alaska is looking at whether to change its requirements for oil spill prevention and response plans.
- The agency said a Roadless Rule exemption would allow more “flexibility” in how the nation’s largest national forest is managed.
- The initiative group needs to get more than 28,000 signatures in three months to get the "Fair Share Act" on the ballot next year.
- While an Alaska Department of Corrections works through a plan to move inmates out of state, the increase in the state's prison population is already having impacts at Juneau’s correctional facility.