November, 2014 Comments to the Tongass Advisory Committee
November 21, 2014
Jason Anderson, Designated Federal Officer
Tongass National Forest
P.O. Box 309
Petersburg, Alaska 99833
Re: Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce Comments to Tongass Advisory Committee
I write this letter to express the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce’s continued support for a timber industry in Southeast Alaska.
Like myself, the majority of the Chamber’s membership possess strong and lasting ties to Southeast Alaska and the way of life this region affords us. A healthy and vibrant environment is integral to our unique quality of life and is something upon which each and every one of us depends. Equally important, however, is our socioeconomic environment, and for this reason we advocate for an efficient and effective transition to young growth timber harvesting that adheres to a triple-bottom line that makes social, economic, and environmental sense.
The reality is that forest products will always be in demand. Whether this demand is met by resources extracted here in Southeast Alaska or elsewhere, it will be met. Here at the Chamber, we believe that we have an opportunity to meet this demand in a responsible manner that benefits both the local economy and the holistic environmental picture. Our sincere hope is that resource extraction and timber harvesting specifically does indeed happen in our backyard; here people possess the ties to the land and the appreciation for the forest that guarantees their commitment to responsible practices and reasonable stewardship.
The people and the economy of Southeast Alaska need a timber industry, and we deserve a timber industry. Timber will always be harvested, and we have the responsibility and the opportunity to ensure that it happens in the most efficient and environmentally sound manner possible. We can do that here.
Please note our support and the support of the people of southern Southeast Alaska for a viable, economically impactful timber industry.
Thank you for your consideration.
Chelsea J. Goucher, Executive Director
Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce
O: (907) 225-3184
C: (907) 220-2133