UA Regents defer consideration of Haines timber sale plan

The 13,426 acres is scattered throughout the Haines Borough. (Map Courtesy of the University of Alaska)

The University of Alaska Board of Regents is delaying a decision on whether to approve the plan for a Chilkat Valley timber sale.

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The board was set to approve the development and disposal plan for a major Haines-area timber project at a meeting Thursday. Instead, regents voted to defer consideration until a special meeting later this month.

The decision comes amid concerns from regents and the public, and a desire for more time to work through those questions.

UA announced the negotiated sale in March. It’s aiming to harvest 150 million board feet from 13,000 acres, over a 10-year period. The area identified for potential harvest is scattered throughout the Haines Borough.

At a Facilities and Land Management Committee Meeting earlier this month, Regent Jo Heckman questioned the amount of information available for the board.

“When you say, the brevity of the document is because that is how it’s defined in our policy? Are we real proud of that policy?” Heckman asked. “I’m just trying to understand, I know you’re justifying it the best way that you have. That here is the information and here is how we’re providing the information. But flip it on the other side and put yourself in our shoes, when we’re not getting what we think we should be getting.”

The University has said more information won’t be available until further along in the negotiation process.

At the special meeting, regents will receive a presentation from the university, with a summary of public comments, more details about the plan, and a set of guiding principles for the project.

That meeting is scheduled for June 19.