HB 87 — An Act Relating to the Sale of Timber on State Land
March 4, 2015
Representative Steve Thompson, Co-chair
Representative Mark Neuman, Co-chair
House Finance Committee
Juneau, AK 99801
Re: HB 87, timber sales
I write this letter to express the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce’s support for passage of HB 87, “An Act relating to the sale of timber on state land; and providing for an effective date.”
Our Chamber works hard to promote economic diversity, regional growth, a climate that is good for business, a lifestyle that attracts year-round residents, and a stable, productive workforce. The existence of a timber industry supports each aspect of this mission unequivocally, and it is for this reason we encourage the passage of HB 87 from committee.
Now more than ever, interest in biomass energy and demand for wood fibers indicate that the State of Alaska should take a proactive stance in providing timber and access to forest products for this and other burgeoning value-added industries. Additionally, what remains of the traditional timber industry in southern Southeast Alaska is more dependent than ever on the State of Alaska and continues to face nearly insurmountable obstacles from the federal government. The timber offered in state negotiated sales will help to sustain jobs and industry across the state, but particularly in both Ketchikan and on Prince of Wales Island, a place to which Ketchikan is closely linked economically, socially, and culturally. Now more than ever, no opportunity to better the lives of individuals living in Alaska should be overlooked. It is inarguable that this bill offers very real opportunity to our region, as well as to Alaskans everywhere.
Please note the support of our Chamber and of Ketchikan’s business community for HB 87 and the potential it possesses to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of Alaskans.
Thank you for your consideration.
Chelsea J. Goucher, Executive Director
Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce
O: (907) 225-3184
C: (907) 220-2133