Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority’s board of trustees meets this week, and will vote on a “reconsideration” of its August decision to move forward with logging parts of Deer Mountain in Ketchikan and a parcel in Petersburg that sits above homes.
Trust officials visited Ketchikan and Petersburg earlier this month to talk about those plans. They said that, if logging does happen, it would be selective logging by helicopter, not clear cutting.
Logging on those parcels would not happen at all if a federal land exchange is approved by Congress before Jan. 15th. Trust officials have repeatedly said they vastly prefer a land exchange over logging the two controversial parcels.
The trustees’ August decision prompted groups in both affected communities to organize against any logging of those sites. There also were questions about whether the vote was legal under the Open Meetings Act. That led the board to take another vote on the issue this week, following a Resource Management Committee recommendation last month.
The trustees’ meeting is scheduled for two days in Anchorage. Public comment will be heard on Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m., and people can call in to participate. If people wish to send written comments via email, trust officials recommend sending those comments by Tuesday.
The vote on the issue is scheduled for Thursday, at around 1:15 p.m. People can call in to listen.
Here’s a link with information about how to comment by phone or by email. We also have earlier reports on the issue here and here.