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Cape Fox Corp. sending one of its final shipments to Asia

Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2004

KETCHIKAN - Cape Fox Corp. is shipping one of its final two shipments of logs to Asia.

Bruce Borup, the Saxman Native Corp.'s chief executive officer, said the corporation harvested about 120 acres of cedar, hemlock and spruce trees from its land in the Whipple Creek area off North Tongass Highway this past season.

The first of three ships took 900,000 board feet of high-grade logs to Japan in November, Borup said. Those logs will be used to manufacture instruments and other quality items.

The second shipload is headed for Japan and the third, scheduled for sailing sometime in March, will be going to South Korea, he said.

The two shipments include about 1.6 million board feet, of which about 1.2 million is being limbed and graded in a sort yard at the old pulp mill site in Ward Cove. Another 400,000 board feet has yet to be brought into the yard.

Borup said that will be the end of Cape Fox timber operations until the trees on its harvested property grow back or it can complete its land selection under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. That 1971 act created 13 Native corporations and awarded them a total of 44 million acres of land.

Cape Fox has another 181 acres to select under ANCSA, he said. The land selections must be outside a six-mile radius of the corporation's Ketchikan/Saxman core township, he said, which means Cape Fox could select additional land in the Ketchikan mountains between George Inlet and Mahoney Lake. That land would be high in the mountains and difficult to access, he said.

Cape Fox prefers to wait for a waiver required by the Bureau of Land Management and included in pending federal Kensington Mine legislation.

The legislation would open up other areas for Cape Fox to select for harvest in an arrangement with the Forest Service. The Kensington Mine is located in the Juneau area.

Other than that, Borup said, the corporation might be able to acquire timber land through an administrative trade with the U.S. Forest Service. A trade takes about three years, and of course, the trade would have to include mutual benefits to both the corporation and the Forest Service, he said.

Meanwhile, Cape Fox is pursuing business in other industries, Borup told the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce last week.

It is involved in tourism, retail, hospitality, construction, manufacturing and real estate. It also owns and operates Ketchikan Title Agency, and is expanding into information technology.

Cape Fox expects to have 200 employees this summer, said Borup. Of those jobs, 160 are in Ketchikan.

Newest to the corporation are acquisition of the old Ben Franklin store location in downtown Ketchikan. That building is being remodeled and will be used for retail. Borup said the corporation plans to keep the location open year-round.



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