Soaring lumber prices could be a boon for Southeast Alaska’s struggling timber industry. The pandemic has fueled the demand for both renovations and the new home construction market, and supply has not kept up.
A timber group was paid more than $200,000 out of a federal grant to provide more industry perspective on a potential Roadless Rule exemption for Alaska.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service notified objectors of a proposed timber sale about a public meeting in Klawock. By Thursday, the meeting was canceled. But some groups are wondering why this work is happening now at all.
Timber sales are intended to stimulate the local economy, but timber industry groups say that the U.S.Forest Service hasn’t made enough Tongass logs available to keep the industry alive.
It was the last chance for the public to register opposition to the plan, which has been nearly three years in the making and will go into effect this winter.
If the objection letters are any indication, several agencies and groups are still not content for different reasons.
Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart said the agency’s analysis shows that transition is possible in 16 years.