Alaska's Timber Jobs panel set for public hearing this week in Coffman Cove, Alaska, on economic development; may consider larger timber sales in Tongass National Forest

LOS ANGELES , October 11, 2011 () – The Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force will hear public comments this Friday and Saturday in Coffman Cove, Alaska, as part of a state initiative to create new jobs by looking at forest management, harvesting rules, timber demand and timber sales from the Tongass National Forest, KCAW-FM reported Oct.6.

The task force has a number of objectives, including a review of recommendations for more acreage or units in the state forest, said State Forester Chris Maisch, a panel member.

When Governor Sean Parnell created the economic development task force last spring, it was with a focus on the Southeast. The Tongass forest and former logging camp Coffman Cove, on Prince of Wales Island, are in the Southeast, reported KCAW.

However, Maisch said any recommendations could potentially apply state-wide.

Parnell created the task force after withdrawing from the conservation-focused Tongass Futures Roundtable in May.

The stakeholders' roundtable, with its broader membership that included logging opponents, had a “a broader agenda,” said Maisch.

The primary source of this article is KCAW-FM, Sitka, Alaska, on Oct. 6, 2011.

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