GOVERNOR PARNELL WHY DIDN’T YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK?
Rod Arno, the executive director of the Alaska Outdoor Council, the official State Association of the National Rifle Association, lent his support to Nine SE Alaska Towns battling Senator Murkowski’s Sealaska Lands Bill (S 730) today when he challenged a letter of support from the Governor’s office to Senator Ron Wyden (Oregon).
“I take issue with the key issue in the Governor’s letter to Senator Wyden: are the lands inside the box adequate economically?”
I have to conclude the Governor did not do his homework when he reached his conclusion about the adequacy of timber in the box. Governor, taking Sealaska’s word on a key issue isn’t in the best interest of the rest of the State. Please show us your data.”
No data I have seen justifies the conclusion the Governor reached -- that the lands inside the ANCSA boxes are not economical to log. The information I have is the lands inside the box are, in fact, at least as economic as the timber that has been sold in recent years.
I think the Governor has been poorly appraised of the truth of the matter which is the lands inside the box contain timber volume that is economical to log. I call on him to produce the data that supports his view. All the data I have seen indicates the land Sealaska selected in 2008 in the box would be economical to log.
Myla Poelstra who testified against the Sealaska bill before the US Senate Committee of Natural Resources in May on behalf of Nine SE towns comes from an old logging family going back many generations. Late last week all the Nine Towns wrote the Governor calling on him to produce proof that the lands inside the box are not adequate economically. They have heard nothing back.
“ I really cannot understand how the Governor, who is supposed to represent all of the people, can make the ridiculous statement that the lands inside the box are not economic. Sealaska can make money exporting those logs.”
“ But the real issue here is that the lands Sealaska wants in S 730 would be the biggest high grading--cherry picking, rip off since logging began on the Tongass. It is a question of skimming the cream off the cream.
“Sealaska would get about fifty five percent of the biggest tree acres in S 730. If they stay in the box, they will get about five percent. Overall, there is way less than five percent in the Tongass of these big tree acres vital for wildlife. (see attached graph based on USFS 1997 TLMP GIS).
“When they log those big tree acres, logging on the Tongass is going to be shut down by lawsuits over the wolf. Does the Governor really want another spotted owl in Alaska. The Governor has yet to grasp this bill kills jobs.”
Both Arno and Poelstra want to see the Governor admit a mistake was made in the letter and retract it. “We can’t let national legislation be based on mistakes, “Arno stated.