Ensuring Timber Sales
Al Edgren and Steve Joslin are both Foresters for the Delta Junction Division of Forestry. Their job includes mapping out which areas should be put up as sales, and which areas should not. Al has been with the state of Alaska Forestry Division since 1981 and with Delta Area Forestry since 1983. Steve has been a Delta Resource Forester since 1985 and has been with the state of Alaska since 1981, having worked in the industry since 1975.
Making it Work for Everyone
Accessibility is also a concern, because most sales in Alaska tend to be winter only. Al Edgren states that balancing the needs of the industry with resource management has to be a consideration at all times. “We try to balance the future needs of the industry and align our progress with access, sale layout, and the process required to bring a sale forward to completion.” Says Al, “It would be a terrible waste of energy to put in all the effort we do to plan a sale and have it not go through.”
“Wildfires are going to happen,” says Joslin. “Harvesting sometimes becomes a choice of using it or letting it burn.”
Conservation efforts include no large scale clearcuts, and seed trees being left around the perimeter of a sale to promote re-growth, as well as leaf trees. They also use a scarification process in which moss is scraped from the ground coverage to promote growth. Moss in Alaska provides such heavy coverage that the ground tends to stay cold, and trees will not grow as well.
With processes such as these, they are able to hold another sale and re-harvest within 30 years in some areas.
“The biggest recurring challenge is from people wanting to keep the world “status quo,” with no allowance or provision for the increased needs of the population,” says Joslin. “We strive to help satisfy the needs of a growing population. I see myself as a conservationist as opposed to a preservationist.”