SUPPLY CHAIN WOES – James Pelletier, Yellow Jersey bicycle mechanic, is surrounded by cycles waiting to be repaired as he points to empty display racks at the Harbor Drive store. The main showroom rack, which can hold two dozen new bicycles, now holds only three bicycles (including an unclaimed special-order $5,000 electric mountain bike) for sale. A nationwide supply chain disruption of bicycles and parts is not expected to be alleviated any time soon. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

SE Conference Hears Timber-Needs Report

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    During the timber industry presentation to the just-concluded Southeast Conference here, Bryce Dahlstrom, vice president of Viking Lumber, and Jerry Ingersoll, U.S. Forest Service deputy regional forester, endorsed continued and expanded logging in the Tongass National Forest.
    Ingersoll told the crowd he hopes the public will view the Forest Service “as public servants.”
    At the moment, 50 million board feet of timber, including 15 million board feet of old growth, are under contract for logging, he said.
    “That’s not enough. That’s not nearly enough,” Ingersoll said. “Our business partners depend on a stable, reliable, predictable supply. They’d like to have two or three years of timber under contract.” He added that “this is less than a year’s worth of supply.”
    Viking, located in Klawock, is the last sizable sawmill operating in Southeast. The company would be a major beneficiary of a special Roadless Rule for Alaska, which is in the process of adoption under an initiative backed by the U.S. Department of the Interior with support by the State of Alaska.
     As it stands, the 2001 Roadless Rule prohibits the construction or maintenance of roads in national forest areas designated as roadless areas, though exemptions are sometimes granted. Dahlstrom said at the meeting  he hopes for an “Alaska state exemption for the Roadless Rule... (and) that decision should be coming up pretty soon.”
    Ingersoll said that for industrial uses of Tongass timber he was “looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 50 million board feet as overall, seeking to meet market demand.” He noted that one acre of the forest land would produce roughly 20,000 board feet of lumber.
    Though old growth trees are currently in the mix, Ingersoll said that he’s “committed to a transition from old growth to young growth.”
    He said the Forest Service is reforming the environmental impact statement process with an eye toward reducing the time needed to get timber sales approved. Previously, the Forest Service was “doing environmental impact statements that took years, each of them for an individual timber sale… We’ve taken a new approach these last couple of years, we’re doing environmental impact statements for a whole range of activities across a large landscape for a ten-year period.”
    He hoped this would speed the development process. He noted that the role of the Forest Service “is to provide good staff work to the decision maker.”
    As to the costs and benefits of federal timber sales, Ingersoll said “I think there are challenges… I think it’s important for us to be good economic partners with the communities here. I don’t think it’s fair to any of these communities to say ‘you cost more than you’re worth, we’re going to shut you down.’ All these economies and all of these folks, these people matter and their jobs, their economic vitality matter.
    “And our purpose in supporting the timber industry in Southeast Alaska is not about making money for the government – never has been. It’s about supporting communities and supporting jobs in rural communities and providing a sustainable supply of resources that keeps people working.”
    He said for the Forest Service, “timber is one of our most important programs.”
    In his brief remarks to the Southeast Conference gathering, Dahlstrom said that “the timber industry is optimistic.” He also noted that recent Chinese tariffs against U.S. imports “are really hurting business... The Chinese government targeted spruce with a 25 percent tariff.”
    Ingersoll stated that the Forest Service is “investing in a public good around keeping reliable manufacturing jobs in Southeast Alaska.”

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August 5, 2020

A Note To Our Readers

Reopening: Phase One:

 

On March 30 the Daily Sitka Sentinel began taking precautions against the coronavirus, which was starting to show up in Alaska.

We closed our building to the public and four key employees started working remotely. Home delivery was suspended to protect our carriers from exposure to the virus.

Four months later, the virus is still with us and the precautions remain in effect.

In appreciation for the willingness of our subscribers to pick up their daily paper at drop-off sites, the Sentinel was free to all readers, and subscriptions were extended without charge.

As of August 1 the Sentinel is once again charging for subscriptions, but the present method of having subscribers pick up their papers at designated sites will continue.

The expiration date of all subscriptions has been extended without charge for an additional four months.

We thank our readers for their support in these uncertain times, and especially those who paid for the paper despite the free offer.

We look forward to the time when we can safely resume home delivery.

To check on the expiration of your subscription or to make a payment please call 747-3219. The subscription email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We also will be mailing out reminder cards.

The single copy price is again 75 cents. The news racks do not require coins to open, but we ask that the 75 cents for a non-subscription single copy sale be paid with coins in the slot.

– The Sitka Sentinel Staff

 

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 9-21-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

New cases as of Monday: 46

Total statewide – 6,950

Total (cumulative) deaths – 45

Active cases in Sitka – 17 (7 resident; 10 non-resident) *

Recovered cases in Sitka – 41 (37 resident; 4 non-resident) *

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 266.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

* These numbers reflect State of Alaska data. Local cases may not immediately appear on DHSS site, or are reported on patient’s town of residence rather than Sitka’s statistics. 

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20 YEARS AGO
September 2000

Enrollment is down by more than 100 students from last year, a decline four times greater than anticipated in the budget, Sitka School District Superintendent John Holst said today. The budget was based on an enrollment down by only 25 students.

50 YEARS AGO
September 1970

The borough assembly approved unanimously an ordinance authorizing expenditure of $12,000 for a redevelopment plan for the Sitka Indian Village. ... Judy Christianson, a member of the Sitka Community Action Group board of directors, has suggested that the planning be handled by a private social service organization called Habitats West.

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