Tongass timeline

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2002

1902: President Theodore Roosevelt establishes the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve by presidential proclamation on Aug. 20.

1907: The Tongass National Forest is created by presidential proclamation by Theodore Roosevelt on Sept. 10.

1908: The Tongass National Forest merges with the Alexander Archipelago Forest.

1909: The first ranger boat, the Tahn, is put into service.

1910: The Forest Service receives its first application for a fox farming island and decides to charge $25 a year per island. There are 11 ranches on the Tongass by 1920.

1910: The Sitka National Monument is created by President William Howard Taft.

1918: High-quality spruce is harvested at Lituya Bay and Howkan on Long Island and used for wartime aircraft.

1920s: The Primary Manufacturing Rule is adopted, requiring that timber be processed before export. Harvesting timber by cable nearly replaces hand logging.

1921: Alaska's first pulp mill, Alaska Pulp and Paper, begins working at the Speel River at Port Snettisham south of Juneau.

1923: Ketchikan Power Co. reincorporates as Ketchikan Spruce Mills.

1925: Glacier Bay National Monument is established.

1934: A Civilian Conservation Corps work group, under the management of the U.S. Forest Service, excavates Old Sitka and finds a total of 1,000 artifacts. Other CCC projects include building cabins, campgrounds and trails, clearing log jams in streams, building roads and restoring totem poles.

1942-1944: The Alaska Spruce Log Program harvests high-grade wood for the war effort.

1944: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fishes for salmon near Juneau on his way back from an inspection trip to the Aleutian Islands.

1947: President Harry Truman signs the Tongass Timber Act, authorizing long-term timber contracts and allowing income from timber sales to be held until Native claims were settled.

1951: The U.S. Forest Service signs a 50-year timber contract with the Ketchikan Pulp Co.

1954: Pacific Northern Timber signs a 28-year contract with a sawmill in Wrangell.

1955: Timber sales on the Tongass total 219 million board feet.

1955: Georgia-Pacific Corp. signs a contract for 7.5 billion board feet of timber, mostly on Admiralty Island, but defaults six years later.

1959: Alaska Lumber and Pulp Co. opens a mill in Sitka with a 50-year contract.

1959: Alaska becomes the 49th state.

1960: The Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act gives equal consideration to recreation, timber, range, watershed and wildlife on national forests.

1962: The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center opens in Juneau and is the first Forest Service visitor center in the United States.

1964: The Wilderness Act is signed into law.

1965: Tongass timber sales total 405 million board feet.

1969: The National Environmental Policy Act requires environmental impact studies, interdisciplinary process and public comment in planning.

1973: The Endangered Species Act is signed into law.

1976: The Forest Service and U.S. Champion Plywood agree to cancel a 8.4 billion-board-foot timber sale concentrated on Admiralty Island after numerous legal challenges from the Sierra Club. The sale would have supplied a pulp mill at Echo Cove near Juneau.

1978: President Jimmy Carter invokes the 1906 Antiquities Act and designates 56 million acres in Alaska as national monuments.

1980: The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act is passed by Congress.

1980: The Tongass timber harvest is 452 million board feet.

1980-84: The Sealaska Timber Corp. markets more than 440 million board feet of timber from Native lands in Southeast Alaska.

1990: The Tongass Timber Reform Act is passed.

1993: Alaska Pulp Co. pulp mill in Sitka closes.

1997: The Tongass Land Management Plan is completed.

1997: Ketchikan Pulp Co. pulp mill in Ketchikan closes.

1999: The Tongass Land Management Plan is revised by Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Lyons, who sets aside additional areas for protection.

2001: The Tongass timber harvest is 54 million board feet.

2001: U.S. District Judge James Singleton overturns the 1999 TLMP revisions, putting the 1997 plan back into effect. He also orders the Forest Service to conduct a supplemental study on wilderness recommendations.

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