ALASKA — A milestone in Alaska forest management occurred recently when the first timber sale was awarded under a Good Neighbor Authority agreement between Alaska and the Forest Service. The first GNA in the state enables agencies to work collaboratively across land ownership boundaries to manage forest lands.
It is the largest timber sale in Southeast Alaska this year. The Tongass National Forest is using the Good Neighbor Authority to form new partnerships with the state of Alaska that continue the transition to young growth while preserving jobs and opportunities for residents. These partnerships are also providing more wood for Alaska’s forest product industry. The 29 million board foot Kosciusko sale includes approximately 1,500 acres of young growth timber stands, which will be harvested by a variety of methods. The timber sale contract was awarded to Alcan Timber, Inc., of Ketchikan, and the work will be done on Kosciusko Island.
“Cooperative management like this is an important aspect in achieving our cooperative goals in sustainable stewardship of a renewable young growth timber resource,” said Regional Forester Beth Pendleton.
The Alaska Division of Forestry and the Forest Service have been working together for over a year to implement the agreement. The Division of Forestry and its partners were authorized to prepare, award, harvest and administer the Kosciusko young growth timber sale.
The Kosciusko sale is the first application of the Good Neighbor Authority agreement in Alaska and is viewed as the future of broader, landscape-scale management of the renewable timber resource. It provides immediate support to the timber industry and lays the foundation for long-term benefits from cooperative management and shared stewardship of Tongass National Forest.