Parnell Names Nine for Timber Task Force

Governor Sean Parnell named nine Alaskans to his new Timber Task Force on Friday.

Randy Ruaro, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, is one of seven Southeast residents on the panel.

The administration announced plans for the task force in May after pulling out of the Tongass Futures Roundtable. That group addressed Southeast timber and conservation issues, but had a broader membership, including environmental and Native organizations.

Parnell said the roundtable failed to help develop the timber industry despite five years of work. Some on the roundtable opposed logging.

Ruaro says the task force will look at national and state forests, as well as private land. And its focus will be statewide.

State Forester Chris Maisch of Fairbanks will chair the task force, which will meet later this month. He played a leadership role in the Tongass Roundtable.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.

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