PUBLISHED: 4:24 PM on Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Timber sale draft environmental impact statement available for review
Craig - The Tongass National Forest has released the Scratchings Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public review and comment. This document describes project alternatives developed to make timber available for sale from Suemez Island on the Craig Ranger District. The DEIS also describes the anticipated effects of the alternatives on area resources and the effect of taking no action at this time.

The four proposals for timber harvest described in the document would yield between 22 and 42 million board feet of timber, with harvest occurring on a maximum of about 2,000 acres. The Forest Service estimates that the project could yield up to 11 million dollars and nearly 250 jobs in logging, construction, marine transport, sawmills, and other economic activity.

Project alternatives were developed to be responsive to issues raised through public involvement efforts. They address comments related to economically viable timber sale offerings, cumulative effects in an area watershed, and timber harvest and road construction in inventoried roadless areas.

The Scratchings timber sale project would contribute to the Tongass timber sale program and would provide a source of timber for small mills in the area. All alternatives were designed to comply with and to implement direction contained in the Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan, the document that guides all land management activities on the Tongass National Forest.

Forrest Cole, Forest Supervisor for the Tongass National Forest, is responsible for making a decision regarding this project. Comments submitted on the DEIS will be incorporated into a Final Environmental Impact Statement that will serve as the basis of the Forest Supervisor's decision.

A 45-day comment period for this project will begin the day after publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. Written comments can be hand delivered to the Craig or Thorne Bay Ranger District Offices.

Comments may be mailed to the following address: Planning Staff, Thorne Bay Ranger District, Attn: Scratchings, P.O. Box 19001, Thorne Bay, AK 99919-0001. Comments may also be faxed to 907-828-3309 or e-mailed to (with "Scratchings DEIS" typed in the subject line).

To receive additional information about the project and comment procedures, or to request a copy of the document, contact Dennis Sylvia, the project team leader, at (907) 828-3226.