The amendment to phase out old-growth logging has been in the works since 2014. It takes effect in 30 days.
A new forecast says current plans for logging younger Tongass trees will not provide enough wood to maintain the region’s timber industry. But a more aggressive approach might.
About half of the timber cut in the Tongass National Forest is shipped in the round. When all that unmilled timber leaves the region, potential jobs leave with it.
Two Oregon researchers, one an industry consultant and the other an environmental activist, say the transition to harvesting younger trees can happen within five years, a half to a third of what the Forest Service expects.
Can Southeast’s timber industry survive while only logging second-growth forests? An Oregon research group says it can. And it could happen sooner than many expect.
Both loggers and environmentalists are frustrated by the Forest Service’s shift, which is expected to take 10 to 15 years.