PUBLISHED: 9:13 AM on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Timber sale environmental assessment for public review
Craig, AK - Craig District Ranger Greg Killinger announced today the availability of the Soda Nick Small Sales Environmental Assessment for public review and comment. The proposal would make approximately 4 million board feet of saw timber available to local operators in several small sales over several years.

The project area is located on Prince of Wales Island about 15 miles southeast of Craig on the Craig Ranger District. Currently, there are about 20 small timber firms operating on the island. The Environmental Assessment describes the anticipated effects of the initial proposal on a variety of forest resources. It also considers the likely effects of three alternative proposals developed in response to issues raised during an earlier comment period.

Alternatives vary in terms of acres proposed for harvest, miles of road needed to facilitate harvest, and logging methods to be employed.

The proposed action includes harvest on 257 acres, 1.3 miles of road construction, and both conventional and helicpoter harvest methods.

All alternatives presented in the document are consistent with the current Tongass Forest Plan and reflect measures taken to protect the multiple values associated with the Tongass National Forest.

For example, the interdisciplinary team that designed the project avoided locating harvest units within roadless areas and dropped units from consideration because of concerns about potential effects to scenery and to watersheds.

Together with public comments received on the project, the Environmental Assessment will serve as the basis for Ranger Killinger's final decision on the project.

Comments on the project will be accepted for 30 days following publication of a legal notice regarding the availability of the Environmental Assessment in the Ketchikan Daily News, the newspaper of record for this project.

For a copy of the Environmental Assessment or to learn more about comment procedures, please call Dennis Sylvia at (907) 826-3271 or e-mail him at