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Hoonah timber stake holders meeting stresses local jobs

Posted: November 14, 2012 - 1:02am

Timber stakeholders on the Tongass National Forest met recently in Hoonah to hash out a vision of logging and restoration work on northeast Chichagof Island.

Approximate 30 participants attended a community forest collaborative workshop hosted by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council in Hoonah.

The meeting was one part of an ongoing discussion. The US Forest Service, the Hoonah Indian Association, the City of Hoonah, small business owners and contractors in Hoonah, Icy Straits Lumber and Milling and SEACC attended the most recent meeting in October.

The stakeholders discussed service work, local suitable timber sales, forest thinning, road and bridge maintenance, public recreation, renewable energy development, commercial and personal berry harvesting, commercial guiding, and fish passage improvements.

According to an Oct. 26 SEACC press release, potential contracts on both public and private land were presented to local businesses, contractors, tribal representatives, and loggers.

Deer habitat improvements at Kennel Creek are expected to employ six to eight Hoonah residents.

The tone of discussions during the workshop was optimistic but realistic, Daven Hafey community organizer for SEACC said in the release.

“The transition on the Tongass won’t occur overnight,” Hafey said.

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