Central Tongass Project (CT Project)

Central Tongass LLA

 

Project Description

The Central Tongass Project (CT Project) is a landscape-scale project located on the Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts. Its purpose is to meet multiple resource goals and objectives (i.e., needs) identified in the 2016 Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) using an integrated approach. Some of the project area needs include improving forest ecosystem health, supporting community resilience through economic development opportunities within Southeast Alaska communities, providing sustainable recreation opportunities to local visitors and the tourism industry, and offering a variety of wood products to regional mills and local communities. These needs will be met by implementing, over the next 15 years, a suite of activities (such as cabin construction, timber harvest, stream restoration, or road construction) identified by you and the Central Tongass planning team. To evaluate the environmental effects of the project, the Forest Service will prepare an environmental impact statement. Continued input from the tribes, partners, stakeholders and the general public will help the Forest Service determine the location and types of activities to implement, and how extensively they will occur across the landscape after the Responsible Official signs the decision for this project.

The CT Project area encompasses National Forest System (NFS) lands and lands of other ownership within the Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts (3.7 million acres). This includes Mitkof, Kupreanof, Kuiu, Wrangell, Zarembo and Etolin islands and the U.S. mainland. Lands of other ownership, as authorized by their land owners, are included in the environmental analysis to facilitate integrated and economic planning and implementation. Wilderness will not be considered for resource management actions other than for invasive plant treatments.

Public involvement for this project has and will include: public community meetings, stakeholder meetings, subsistence hearings and notices in local publications like the Petersburg Pilot and the Wrangell Sentinel. This website will be the central source of information for all interested individuals and groups, and will help keep the public up-to-date on the Forest Service’s planning progress.

The Tongass National Forest has transitioned to an electronic mailing system for all projects and planning efforts, including the CT Project. We will communicate project updates and announcements through this system and invite you to sign up by clicking here and submitting your email address. You may select other Tongass projects that interest you as well by managing your subscriber preferences after you sign up.

If you would like to comment electronically on the CT Project during specified public comment periods, which is required to gain standing to object to the project later in the NEPA process, you may do so here. Please note, when a comment period is not open, the ability to submit electronic comments online will not be enabled, and contact information for the project leader will be displayed at that link. We welcome your input at any time, and look forward to continuing to work with you on developing a successful landscape-level project.

Scoping Period - August 2018

The first public comment period for the CT Project will be open for 45 days following publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register, expected in early- to mid-August 2018. Information on submitting comments are provided in the NOI and a Scoping Report sent to interested individuals. If you’d like to comment electronically, use the link above under the Project Description heading on this webpage. 

Comments received during the scoping period may be seen in the CT Project Reading Room, under the heading “NOI Scoping”.

Public meetings will be held in the communities of Kake, Petersburg and Wrangell, Alaska during the scoping period. Once dates and locations are finalized, they will be posted on this webpage and advertised in local newspapers and on local radio stations.

The Forest Service developed Draft Activity Cards to describe the activities considered in the Proposed Action or potentially in other action alternatives. Information presented about each activity includes what it usually accomplishes, how it is typically implemented, when it would be implemented, the implementation maximum, and possible integration opportunities with other activities. Additionally, the following maps were created to display aspects of the proposed action.

We hope you will find the activity cards and maps useful, in conjunction with the Purpose and Need, and Proposed Action described in the Notice of Intent, to provide us with well-informed comments. Your comments during this scoping period, along with all previously submitted input, will help the Forest Service develop a range of alternatives to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement. 

Pre-scoping Period, January 2018

The Petersburg and Wrangell Ranger Districts introduced the Central Tongass Project (CT Project) to the public in January with an introductory letter, a project area map and a questionnaire. The questionnaire collected ideas about the projects, infrastructure, activities and forest practices supported by community members within the project area.

In February, project team members talked to local tribes, and visited elementary, middle and high school students in Kake, Petersburg and Wrangell. Later, in March, the Forest Service held four public meetings in Kake, Petersburg and Wrangell to gather additional public input. The input collected from January through March is compiled here and summarized in a project update letter that was distributed in April. Since the update letter, additional input was received and added to the compilation. This spreadsheet is the foundation for activities considered in the Proposed Action.

To review the individual input received during the pre-scoping period (January 19 – May 31) visit the CT Project Reading Room, under the heading “Pre-scoping”.

For more information, contact Project Leader Carey Case at 907-772-3871 or ccase@fs.fed.us