April 4, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 14

Letters to the Editor

No EIS done on Tonka

To the Editor:

The March 28, 2013 Petersburg Pilot article on the Tonka log sorting and storage facility did not inform the public with all of the facts.

On March 28, 2012 the Tonka Timber Sale FEIS was released and the Record of Decision (ROD) was signed which provided for the construction of a new Sort Yard of 5 acres. On April of 2012 the USFS performed a Change Analysis to expand the area another 11 acres which now total 16 acres (a 16 acre loss of productive old-growth, deer winter habitat, and an important wildlife corridor).

This U.S.F.S Change Analysis has also provided an additional timber harvest of 137 acres of productive old-growth and loss of critical deer winter habitat.

Additionally this Change Analysis now mentions 112 streams that were not properly identified.

There was no environmental impact study done for this Change Analysis because the USFS Ranger and Supervisor deemed no further analysis required.

The R.O.D. clearly states that (1) “activities authorized by this ROD will be monitored to ensure that they are carried out as planned and described in the FEIS” and (2) ”Resource effects will not be greater than these described in the FEIS” and (3) “Proposed changes to the authorized project actions or new information will be subject to the required documents” (NEPA, NFMA, TTRA, Section 810 of ANILCA).

The public had no opportunity to respond to this Change Analysis before implementation nor has the USFS adhered to the City of Petersburg’s letter of support (December 7, 2011) which asked the USFS to (1) “provide fish habitat and wildlife protection” and (2) “not further reduce the tree canopy for winter deer habitat”.

The USFS has conducted a breach of faith upon our community and the public with their actions.

My conversations upon deer winter habitat and subsistence issues are prompted by USFS continual disregard for these values which generations of our community are entitled.

David B. Randrup

Reader Comments

(1)

LarryEdwards writes:

Thanks for this truth. Additionally, the Tonka mess goes far beyond these later-made changes. The Final EIS is devoid of important habitat & wildlife information that ADF&G put on record earlier in the Tonka planning process. That was removed at the direction of the State's Tongass timber tzar (in DNR), who executed the Parnell administration's political policy. The governor is entitled to his policy, but an EIS must be a fact-driven document. The Forest Service failed the public interest