The Alaska Division of Forestry has released a scoping document that outlines proposed timber harvest and other activities that will occur in the Haines State Forest from 2018 - 2022.
The public can comment on any aspect of this Management Schedule until March 15th, 2018. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HAINES STATE FOREST NEEDS A NEW MANAGEMENT PLAN
The Haines State Forest Management Plan was adopted 16 years ago, in 2002, and is therefore outdated. An up-to-date plan is needed before scheduling is done, or in the interim (since an update has not yet been initiated) the scheduling of timber sales should be highly deferential to other resource values.
The need to modify the Management Plan was foreseen by the Division of Forestry:
"The plan will be updated periodically as new data become available, as shifts in land and resource management emphasis occur, and as
changing social and economic conditions place different demands on public lands. The Division of Forestry will coordinate periodic
reviews of this plan."
THE STATE MUST SAFEGUARD CHILKAT KING HABITAT
The need for the Five Year Schedule to defer to other resource uses and values exists for several reasons. The need for deferral is
particularly strong because Alaska Fish & Game and the Board of Fish have designated Chilkat River Chinooks a "stock of management
concern." Moreover, the plight of the Chilkat stock is of such high concern that at its January 2018 meeting the Board of Fish was
compelled to place economically harmful restrictions on all salmon fisheries in Southeast that may catch Chilkat Chinooks.
OTHER RESOURCE USES AND VALUES
The schedule should also defer to other resource uses and values, than timber, because social and economic conditions have changed in Haines. It's time to develop a new State Forest Management Plan that places higher value on the needs of tourism, recreation, and small timber operators. Additionally, we have new perceptions and understandings of climate change to consider in resource management. Lynn Canal residents have had many years to observe the Plan in action, and it's time for an update.
Until the Management Plan is updated a strong precautionary approach is warranted, because logging and its associated road use and road construction have very long-lasting, largely irreversible impacts on other resources and land and water uses.