TREE LIGHTING – Sitkans gather next to a decorated spruce tree across from City Hall Saturday. Scores turned out for the Chamber of Commerce’s holiday celebration that included caroling, a tree lighting hosted by Mrs. Santa Claus, and remarks by Chamber of Commerce member Loren Olsen and City Administrator John Leach encouraging people to shop in town during the holiday season. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

F.S. Proposes Logging Old-Growth in Tongass

JUNEAU (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has proposed cutting down a huge swath of old growth timber in southeast Alaska.
    The agency published its draft decision Friday on logging as much as 225 million board feet (53,000 cubic meters) in Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island, opening up a 45-day period for people to raise objections, KTOO Public Media in Juneau reported Thursday.
    While the project seems large, the harvests will be gradual, said Delilah Brigham, a Forest Service project manager.
    “We’re looking at metering out timber harvest over 15 years,” Brigham said. “So yes, the project does offer a larger amount of old growth, but it’s not going to be harvested all right now within one year.”
    The Forest Service said the project aims to improve forest ecosystem health as well as boost the local economy.
    “We had a variety of comments from different sized mills across the project area saying that their businesses rely on a steady supply of timber,” Brigham said.
    Critics say the plan is a reversal of the agency’s 2016 decision to phase out old growth logging and that commercial logging can damage fish and wildlife habitat.
    “There’s no evidence that anything would be milled locally,” said Pat Lavin of the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife. “At least that hasn’t been the trend and isn’t what one would expect out of this sale either. Most of the product is exported, unfortunately, and that would probably continue.”

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 12-3-21)

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 10:21 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 312

Total statewide – 146,558

Total (cumulative) deaths – 853

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,117

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

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 13 new resident COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 152.52 per 100,000 population. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 2

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,142

Cumulative non-resident cases – 102

Unique positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 11/26/21 – 1,266

Deceased (cumulative) – 5

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

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20 YEARS AGO
December 2001

Photo caption: Cathy Hanson shovels snow off the sidewalk in front of Russell’s today. What started as a few flakes Monday evening had mounted to an estimated half-foot by noon today. More was forecast but rain is possible Wednesday.

50 YEARS AGO
December 1971 

Several fish fatalities resulted Monday night when a car apparently went out of control, ran off Halibut Point Road and slammed into the rear of Sitka Petland Store. Vibrations shattered fish tanks, and several hundred dollars worth of tropical fish were casualties.

 

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