UA timber sale planned near resort

Posted: Friday, December 02, 2005

KETCHIKAN - University of Alaska plans for a timber sale on 800 acres near a Craig fishing resort include road building and some harvesting by helicopter.

Public comment on development plans for the proposed site, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, is due by Jan. 13. The site is about 13 miles south of Craig and next to Waterfall Resort, a fishing lodge that operates in summer.

Development proposals are in planning stages only, said Steve Conley with UA's land management office. University regents are scheduled to consider overall development plans at a board meeting in Juneau in February.

Ken Dole, a Waterfall Resort manager, told the Ketchikan Daily News that he had offered comment over the years as university planners considered the timber sale and any plans to subdivide cleared land for development.

Dole said the lodge favored keeping the site isolated and pristine. "But they own the land and can do what they want," he said, adding wasn't sure how a timber sale would affect resort business. "The key things are going to be how they set up and operate, but I'm sure we can work things out and coexist," he said.

The university development plan calls for carefully designed timber harvesting to "maintain and enhance the residential value of the property (and) maintain the scenic quality of the Waterfall area."

Selective helicopter harvesting would take place in sensitive areas, according to the plan.

Joe Beedle, UA vice president of finance, said Tuesday that harvesting would be a first stage of development for the property. Plans call for eventually subdividing cleared land and using logging roads.

Dole said he and his partners knew in 1982 when they bought the resort property that adjacent land was owned by the university. But he said they did not know UA's plans for the site until a few years ago. The resort has space for up to 92 people and operates in summer only, Dole said.

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