The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled three public meetings to discuss timber, wildlife and recreation projects northeast of Ketchikan. Officials from the federal agency will discuss the South Revilla Integrated Resources Project — which includes logging more than 5,200 acres of old-growth forest.
The Forest Service plans to open some 6,200 acres near the shores of Carroll Inlet to logging, most of which is old-growth forest. It would also build 48.4 miles of new logging roads, including 34 miles of temporary roads. The vast majority would be clear-cuts.
The agency says that’d support about 350 timber jobs. But industry representatives have expressed skepticism that the timber sale would find any buyers.
The Forest Service’s environmental study says the project would fracture habitat, especially for deer — an important subsistence food source.
The project would also expand recreation in the Shelter Cove area: boat launches, parking lots, campsites, informational kiosks, things like that. The Forest Service would also build fishing platforms and a boardwalk, along with upgrades to a floating dock, on the western side of Carroll Inlet.
None of those would be connected to Ketchikan’s road system — at least not until the state finishes the long-delayed Shelter Cove Road next year.
The project would also include habitat restoration and other environmental work.
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough supports the project, saying it would open up more recreation opportunities and boost the timber sector.
Ketchikan Indian Community is a “cooperating agency” in the project providing input as a federally-recognized tribal government. The tribe has yet to take a formal position on the overall project.
The Forest Service is scheduled to hold two public teleconferences on the project — along with a virtual hearing for subsistence users — Tuesday, Oct. 13, Thursday Oct. 15 and Friday, Oct. 16. Officials will present the plan and take questions. The agency is taking public input — in writing — through Oct. 19.
The first public teleconference is Oct. 13, 2020, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. The second public teleconference is Oct. 15, 2020, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. The subsistence hearing teleconference is Oct. 16, 2020, from 1:30-3:00 p.m.
To attend any of those sessions, call 1-888-844-9904 and enter access code 1629855#.