Alaska Timber Jobs
For the last fifteen to twenty years in Southeast Alaska, there have been a scarcity of job opportunities opened for timber-related occupations. To address this problem, Governor Sean Parnell has issued an Administrative Order creating a new state timber task force which is expected to open new jobs in the timber business for unemployed Alaskans in the nation. Alaska has 365 million of acres of land and Parnell hopes that the new task force will focus on providing recommendations in order to “grow jobs and foster economic development” specially in areas that offer an abundant source timber for traditional harvesting.
“The task force will focus on reasonable approaches and recommendations to grow jobs and foster economic development – particularly in areas where the state has some control over, including the recently expanded Southeast State Forest. While we will continue to pursue federal timber sales for traditional harvest, I look forward to receiving task force recommendations that will focus more on state efforts. In order to focus limited state resources on efforts that will lead to new jobs, the state will also be withdrawing from the Tongass Futures Roundtable. Any roundtable proposals that benefit traditional timber harvests and new jobs should certainly be presented to the new task force,” says Gov. Parnell on his announcement.
According to Gov. Parnell, “There were 8 injunction requests filed by environmental groups against the Logjam sale and the Alaskan jobs the sale is supporting right now on Prince of Wales Island at the Viking Lumber Mill.”
Parnell’s challenge to enhance Alaska’s forestry and timber industry is reported to have something to do with the status of the timber business in Washington. Alaska’s national forest land is about 3 times vaster than that of Washington State but the latter is producing over 7.9 billion board feet of timber, substantially bigger the amount produced by Alaska of roughly 60 million board feet over the last 3 years.
Short URL: http://thealaskanews.com/?p=9244