This deer season has been the worst in recent memory for a lot of hunters on Prince of Wales Island. Large-scale industrial logging has damaged important winter habitat, and some locals believe a rapidly growing wolf population is also devouring the deer.
Logging old growth trees in the Tongass National Forest was supposed to be phased out. The owner at Viking Lumber has struggled to see a future where the business could survive. But this past year has restored some hope.
The Haines Assembly is pushing back on a proposed timber sale on the Chilkat Peninsula. The University of Alaska is offering up 400 acres of land for harvest. But at a meeting Monday, the local government said it will explore its legal options if a contract is awarded.
The Baby Brown Timber Sale, about 35 miles northwest of Haines, offers up 20 million board feet of old-growth spruce and hemlock. Astoria Forest Products offered $270,000 for the timber last year. They were the only bidder. But the sale hasn’t gone forward.