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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- The Alaska Department of Revenue forecasts $187.3 million less in state revenue this year than it did in the spring. The department released the forecast on Friday.
- In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.
- Anchorage natural gas company ENSTAR is asking state regulators to allow it to bill its customers to recover $1 million in costs from last year's major earthquake.
- “We know many, many people are going to lose benefits because of this,” says Cara Durr with the Food Bank of Alaska.