Natural Resources & Environment
Date: January 7, 2011
Topic: Frenchie Reoffer Timber Sale, Wrangell Ranger District, Tongass National Forest
Issue: The Tongass National Forest seeks approval for the advertisement and award of the Frenchie
Reoffer Timber Sale on Zarembo Island, Wrangell Ranger District, including 30 acres of timber harvest
and 0.3 miles of temporary road construction within roadless areas as inventoried for the 2008 Tongass
Forest Plan amendment. There is no proposed harvest or road construction on lands included within the
2001 Roadless Rule inventory. The Tongass would like to move this sale through the review process as
soon as possible. There is a timber sale contractor mobilized on the island and interested in acquiring this
sale of approximately 26 MMBF of NEPA-cleared timber volume. This contractor and other timber sale
purchasers need to know if this volume is available to plan for next year’s operations.
Pressing economic reasons to make this sale available for purchase include the fact that 11.2 miles of
National Forest System road has already been constructed for the Frenchie timber sale through a
public works contract, and this sale could keep existing timber operators and mills in business and
provide jobs in the community of Wrangell.
The sale includes the harvest of timber from approximately 1,193 acres, of which approximately 30
acres are located within West Zarembo Island IRA #235 and 29 acres within East Zarembo Island
None of the harvest units or road construction is within the 2001 Roadless Rule IRAs.
This project is currently part of a collaborative stewardship proposal, and includes a wide range of
projects including timber harvest, wildlife habitat enhancement, watershed restoration for fish habitat,
and implementation of travel management plans including road maintenance and closures.
Background: The Baht Timber Sale project was designed to avoid IRAs. However, when the roadless
inventory was revisited for the Tongass SEIS and the 2008 Forest Plan Amendment, the criteria used for
that inventory changed the boundaries of the IRAs. As a result, parts of two units are now located within
IRAs as designated in the 2008 Tongass roadless inventory. These units were logical settings based on
topography and vegetation and are accessed from the existing road system.
In the July 2007 Baht Timber Sale ROD, the Selected Alternative deferred two harvest units and
associated road construction located partially within the 6,666-acre West Zarembo Island IRA (#235) and
the 10,947-acre East Zarembo Island IRA (#236). These units were deferred in accordance with the
provisions of the settlement agreement between the Alaska Region and the Natural Resources Defense
Council, et al., which sought to resolve issues regarding timber harvest in roadless areas and delayed the
issuance of RODs in those areas until after the completion of the 2008 Forest Plan Amendment. These
IRAs are rated as lower value roadless areas in the 2008 Forest Plan and are available for harvest as part
of the Timber Sale Program Adaptive Management Strategy. After the 2008 Forest Plan Amendment
ROD was signed, the Baht II ROD (June 2008) authorized the harvest of these deferred units and
associated road construction.
Contact: Forrest Cole, Forest Supervisor, Tongass National Forest (907) 228-6200
Beth Pendleton, Regional Forester, Alaska Region (907) 586-8863