Update on Sealaska Timber Harvest Activity at Natzuhini River
In late summer of 2011, Sealaska Timber Corporation (STC) began harvest activity in a 43-acre stand of young growth timber near the Natzuhini River (Exhibit A in link below). This project is the continuation of a three-year program to pioneer the harvest and marketing of young growth timber from Southeast Alaska.
Because of this unit’s proximity to an anadromous fish stream and also due to the high visibility from the highway bridge, residents of Hydaburg and Prince of Wales Island have expressed concern regarding the environmental impact of this logging. Based on these concerns a report, linked below, has been compiled to advise the community on the operations underway and the habitat and fisheries production evaluations that Sealaska and STC have undertaken to ensure Natzuhini River drainage remains a preeminent salmon-producing stream.
State officials with the Division of Forestry and Division of Fish and Game reviewed a detailed plan of operations at Natzuhini River. State officials conducted site visits and approved the plan in accordance with the Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act (FRPA) regulations and prior to any logging. As an additional step, Sealaska contracted with Martin Environmental to assess the impact of the proposed plan. The investigators concurred that the block layout and stream buffers would protect fish habitat in accordance with the FRPA. The stream buffer required is 66 feet not including the width of the road, which provides an additional 25 feet of protection from ditch to ditch.