Petersburg Pilot -


Plans for new Tonka log sorting, storage facility underway


Submitted Photo

The Forest Service Tonka Timber Sale has spawned the need for a log sorting and storage yard. The planning, environmental impact study and design phases are now complete.

Federal public works funds will finance the projected permanent facility, which will also include a new public dock, said Petersburg Ranger Jason Anderson.

The Tonka sort yard is located almost directly across from Papke’s Landing and was constructed by Channel Construction Inc. out of Juneau, Anderson said. Tamico completed the installation of the dock.

‘The challenge with Tonka has been no real storage in the past, so the project tried to address that issue with the proposal and eventual development of a log sorting and storage area,” Anderson said.

“It basically concentrates the impact of that activity in one footprint rather than having them scattered in little landings,” Anderson said. “So, instead of having to play with them in lots of places, just roll them to one spot, sort them into various grades and species. Then, from there have the capacity to load them onto a barge or raft and move them to their destination.”

Submitted Photo

Tamico employees install a new public dock across from Papke's Landing. The 77.5 feet long, 13.5 feet wide dock is adjacent to the new Tonka log sorting and storage yard.

The developed area will be roughly a 5 to 7 acre footprint, Anderson said, which is larger than the originally proposed 4 to 4.5 acre developed area. However, clearing the route to bring the logs into to the sort yard will be wider than originally planned.

Having a central sorting and storage area is fairly common to have a sort yard near the water, Anderson said.

“The area becomes a permanent part of the infrastructure. Any future [timber] sales down the road, the intent will be to use that [area].” Anderson said.

Once completed, according to Anderson, the landing could be used for other commercial services, or to bring in equipment for road work or improvements to the fish pass in the area.

“It will also probably be used as a pretty popular parking area,” Anderson said, adding that the Forest Service is still asking for help identifying abandoned vehicles on Forest Service land.


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