USDA, Forest Service creating jobs ... Don't count on it

Posted: Sunday, May 30, 2010

We have heard many promises from the USDA and the Forest Service about job creation, but none of these have produced jobs. I am very skeptical that the new proposal will be any different.

For instance, the Forest Service has committed to offer 10-year sales to sustain the industry, stabilize employment and allow for investment. We are still waiting on the Forest Service to prepare those sales.

Now, comes a "new" idea for young growth. I presented a paper to the USDA last week which makes clear that any real use of young growth for job creation is at least 30 years away. And the Forest Service will not even attempt to put anything on the table until next year. So, this field season is now gone.

Empty promises just don't work. Southeast Alaska needs real action from federal agencies that provides real job creation. Only one timber sale has been offered in the last year, and that was cut by almost half.

The Alaska Forest Association has been working with the Tongass Futures Roundtable, which has produced nothing. Now the USDA seems to be producing nothing. It is really distressing to hear about job creation when no action to create jobs is being taken.

Owen Graham

Executive Director, Alaska Forest Association

Ketchikan



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