Continued Support for a State Forest in Southeast Alaska
July 21, 2015
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001
The Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce has long supported the restoration of a viable, competitive timber industry for southern Southeast Alaska. After two decades of timber starvation, Ketchikan has lost its pulp mill, three sawmills, and over 1,500 family-wage jobs. Similar job losses have occurred across the region.
The federal government has heretofore been unable to adequately implement its own timber sale plans, and as a result many people both in the region and around the state have begun supporting the establishment of a 2-million acre State Forest in Southeast Alaska, carved from the Tongass. As I’m sure you are well aware, this forest would be managed by Alaskans in accordance with the rules established by the Alaska Forest Practices Act.
Our Chamber notes that both the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the Alaska State Legislature support this effort. Further, we were particularly pleased to hear your own expression of support for this 2-million acre State Forest during your March visit to Ketchikan.
The Chamber requests kindly that you draft a formal letter to our Congressional Delegation expressing your support for this proposed 2-million acre State Forest. Our hope is that a letter from you, our Governor, might aid them in their efforts to accomplish this objective. We have been told that your staff has prepared such a letter; now we ask that this letter be signed and sent as soon as possible.
With respect and thanks,
Chelsea Goucher, Executive Director
Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce
P: (907) 225-3184
C: (907) 220-2133