Support alternative

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, March 28, 2004

With all the problems faced by the Tongass timber industry today, it is wonderful to see a Southeast community propose a home-grown, truly economical solutions to provide local residents with timber they can use. The Gustavus Citizens' Alternative for the Couverden timber sale is one of these solutions, and it has SEACC's support.

The Forest Service has several options on the table for logging near Point Couverden, 40 miles west of Juneau. Most of the options involve building three to five miles of new roads and cutting about 20 million board feet of timber. But these options don't satisfy local community needs.

While Couverden is not huge by Tongass logging standards, it is far too large for local timber operators to buy. To remedy this, business folk in Gustavus, who cut and dry lumber for local house and furniture construction, have put forth a citizens' alternative. Their solution would provide half a million board feet per year - forever - to local operators without any clearcutting or building of new roads.

Southeast Alaska's small timber manufacturers contribute to our economy by producing high-value timber products for local use right here in our communities. By supporting them, we stand up for good, long-term jobs and for keeping more timber dollars in state - and we cut fewer trees in an environmentally sustainable way.

The comment period deadline for Couverden is Monday, March 29. Please let the Forest Service know what kind of logging you'd like to see in the Juneau Ranger District.

Russell Heath

Executive Director

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

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