The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act established 13 Native corporations in southeast Alaska. There are 12 "village" corporations and 1 "regional" corporation (Sealaska Corporation). The Native corporations were entitled to select about 540,000 acres of land out of the Tongass National Forest; about 95 percent have been conveyed. This study reviews Native corporation timber resources, harvests to date, and projected future harvest levels. Publicly available data on the volume of timber conveyed to Native corporations are subject to a wide margin of error. Estimates based on USDA Forest Service data suggest that economic volume at conveyance was between 4.0 and 7.8 billion board feet. About 56 percent of this timber volume was on village corporation lands, with the remainder on Sealaska lands. Native corporation timber harvests began in 1979 and grew rapidly to about 400 million board feet in 1987 and 1988, despite depressed timber markets from 1981 to 1986. Timber harvests in 1989 were about 600 million board feet. Since 1983, more than half the timber harvests in southeast Alaska have occurred on Native lands. More than 3 billion board feet were harvested by 1989. Most of the timber is exported as round logs, primarily to Japan. Most of the village corporations will have harvested all their merchantable timber by 1991. If current market conditions continue, Native harvests will decline sharply between 1989 and 1992 as most village corporation harvests end. About 10 to 15 years from now, harvests will again decline after Sealaska Corporation completes logging on most of its lands.
Knapp, G. 1992. Native timber harvests in southeast Alaska. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-284. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station