Forest Service releases amended plan for Tongass forest

    The U.S. Forest Service has released an amended plan for the Tongass National Forest that focuses on transitioning to young-growth timber.

    KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has released an amended plan for the Tongass National Forest that focuses on transitioning to young-growth timber.

    The Ketchikan Daily News reports that Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart announced Thursday morning the release of the amended forest plan for the Tongass National Forest, and the related final environmental impact statement and draft record of decision.

    Stewart says the switch from old-growth timber to young-growth timber should help sustain the timber industry in southeast Alaska.

    The amended proposal calls for a 16-year transition period, longer than the initial request from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for a 10- to 15-year timeline. The Forest Service will try to make as much as 46 million board feet per year available, with the percentage of old-growth timber decreasing over time.

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