Plan being developed to market Interior timber

Posted: Thursday, November 06, 2003

FAIRBANKS - Foresters are joining forces with economic development officials to develop a plan to market Interior timber.

The four-member committee hopes to have a detailed description of harvestable timber on both state and private lands prepared by December, said Northern Regional Forester Chris Maisch.

The prospectus will be sent to several interested companies, distributed at trade shows and posted on the Internet, Maisch told the state Board of Forestry during a meeting in Fairbanks on Tuesday.

The committee's goal is to use the prospectus to generate interest in Interior timber, and to cater to companies by helping with a feasibility study or providing any other assistance.

Maisch said the impetus for preparing the prospectus is Gov. Frank Murkowski's goal of more resource development. The state has said less than 10 percent of the allowable harvest in state-owned forest land in the Interior is being developed.

Maisch said it's difficult to say how successful the committee will be in bringing a timber development operation to the Interior. The last time a similar effort occurred in the Interior was 1991, when the Wisconsin-based company Menasha made plans to set up an operation for producing wood chips. The plan never materialized.

The committee's immediate goal is to provide interested parties with easy-to-access information about Interior timber. Maisch said the committee hopes to see something in place by 2005 or 2006.

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