March 22, 2012 | Vol. 42, No. 12

Timber sale comments due next week

Comments on a planned timber sale above 13 Mile Haines Highway are due March 31.

Approximately 800,000 board feet will be cut on 40 acres on a bench at about the 500-foot elevation, said Haines area forester Roy Josephson.

The cut, which will be offered as a series of small sales to independent operators, won’t be visible from the highway, he said.

That area of the forest is not used by goats, which use areas higher in elevation. A recent study found only one goat in the area in the course of a year.

“Goats may cross the unit but they don’t really hang out there,” Josephson said.

Construction of a half-mile, switchback road will be necessary to reach the timber and a log landing will be situated between the road and the mountainside there.

“(Buyers of small timber sales) don’t have the ability to build a lot of road. They can build a little road so we’ve been logging these patches of spruce near the road,” Josephson said. “At some point our operator is going to have to build more roads.”

The work won’t infringe on the site of the historic Gus Klaney cabin, which is nearby. The new section of road will intersect a hiking trail there at two spots, but foresters will make sure people can still access the trail, he said. The road will be put to bed after logging.

A trespass cabin at 1,500-foot elevation above the area of the sale also won’t be affected, he said.

Timber sales from the site would likely continue for four years, and most of the logs will likely be used as house logs and sawlogs for local operators, Josephson said.

Comments may be sent to the Division of Forestry, P.O. Box 263, Haines, AK 99827.