Did you know that the State of Alaska typically holds several comment periods attached to each timber sale? Well, the last official public comment period for the Whale Pass Timber Sale (SSE-1378-K) is underway now!
This sale will clearcut approximately 292 acres, or 5 million board feet, of beautiful old-growth around and within the town of Whale Pass on the north end of Prince of Wales Island. This comment period gives any public member to comment on the draft Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) that the state is responsible for creating per timber sale on state forest land.
The FLUP defines how the Whale Pass sale will occur on the ground. Approximately 50 culverts and other stream crossing structures are planned, impacting the last remaining salmon streams in the immediate area.
The state appears to have ignored the fact that deer harvests for the area are already down, and that most Whale Pass residents are subsistence users. The state still insists on logging close to residential property and within town limits, ignoring the town’s pleas for consideration of their growing tourism niche and property values (which you can read about in “Small community of Whale Pass sees ‘shut up and take it’ attitude in timber sale bill” via Alaska Beacon). With this plan, the FLUP for Whale Pass doesn’t consider visual resources or mitigation measures for the Whale Pass area.
Your comment on the draft FLUP will help ensure the continued protection of nearly 300 acres of old-growth while respecting the citizens of Whale Pass and its subsistence users.
You can submit a customizable comment right now to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Division of Forestry through the SEACC comment portal at seacc.org/whale-pass-comment or via our Tongass Action Page.
Comments can also be mailed to the Alaska Division of Forestry, 2417 Tongass Avenue, Suite 213, Ketchikan, AK 99901. Comments must be received at the Division of Forestry office no later than October 17, 2022, in order to be considered in the adopted FLUP.
For more information, please see the Whale Pass timber Sale (SSE-1378-K) Draft Forest Land Use Plan web page.
Gunalchéesh — thank you — for all you do to protect Tlingit Aaní and the Tongass!