JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Members of an advisory committee have been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide recommendations on changes in Tongass National Forest management.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has told Tongass managers to begin changing from old-growth trees to younger harvests, CoastAlaska (http://is.gd/SZ7zb9) reported. Vilsack oversees the U.S. Forest Service.
The committee's goal is to find a compromise among environmentalists, loggers, tribal groups and government agencies for managing the country's largest national forest. The committee is part of the effort to update the 2008 plan.
The transition goal for the young-growth model is between 10 and 15 years. Until then, the Tongass is expected to supply enough trees for a viable timber industry.
Members of the committee come from various sides of the timber issue. They include members of the board of the pro-development Southeast Conference, as well as environmental representatives, tribal leaders, state and municipal officials and executives of Juneau-based Sealaska Corp., a regional Native corporation.