Though some doubted it could be done, the group of industry leaders, scientists, conservationists and government representatives has reached a consensus: the Tongass Advisory Committee has submitted its draft recommendations for managing timber harvests in the national forest that covers much of Southeast Alaska.
There are lots of interesting ideas here; maybe some becoming relevant beyond Alaska as the Forest Service gets out of the old-growth business everywhere. Here’s one that surprised me:
It asks for changes in leadership, with more power given to regional foresters. “This runs counter to the current culture in which District Rangers, in order to be safe and not take any risk, simply layer on Interdisciplinary Team suggestions for protection, without paying attention to redundancies,” the draft reads, “lead(ing) to a collision of restrictions that result in low volume and non-economic projects … or extinguishes projects altogether.”
It’s also counter the culture of decentralization. It seems to be a proposal to take more risks, which I would expect to lead to more litigation. On the other hand, I got the impression over the years that those at higher levels understood the risks better and were less likely to take them. But then they are closer to the politicians, too. (Maybe there’s some other perceptions out there.)