Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors
Resolution in Support of the Effort to Acquire Two Million Acres from the Tongass National Forest to Establish a State Forest
WHEREAS, the federal government owns nearly 65% of the land in Alaska and nearly 95% of the land in Southeast Alaska; and
WHEREAS, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is the largest national forest at 17 million acres; and
WHEREAS, the Tongass National Forest is rich in timber, minerals, and renewable energy resources which can be developed in a responsible manner supportive of robust rural economies; and
WHEREAS, current federal management of the Tongass schedules only 600,000 acres for timber harvest and is administratively costly for both the USFS and the American taxpayer; and
WHEREAS, the Roadless Initiative further precludes the sustainability and economic viability of timber harvest and the utilization of renewable resources in Southeast Alaska; and
WHEREAS, 75,000 people are directly dependent upon the health of Southeast Alaska’s economy; and
WHEREAS, the population of Southeast Alaska is the only regional population in the State to decline over the last two census periods; and
WHEREAS, two million acres is less than 12% of the total land area of the Tongass National Forest; and
WHEREAS, lands designated as State Forest are managed per state forest purposes, as defined in Alaska statute (AS 41.17.200), with their primary goal being “timber management that provides for the production, utilization, and replenishment of timber resources while allowing other beneficial uses of public land and resources.”
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce supports Governor Sean Parnell’s effort to acquire two million acres from the Tongass National Forest to establish a State Forest that can be managed sustainably and in regards to the Southeast Alaska region’s triple bottom line.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce supports any and all legislation that will facilitate the fruition of Governor Parnell’s efforts.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be disseminated to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) and member state’s Chambers of Commerce, Southeast Alaska regional Chambers of Commerce, the SE Conference, and the Alaska State Chamber requesting that they endorse this resolution.
Approved this 18th day of October, 2013
Judy Zenge, President Chelsea Goucher, Business Manager
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