A portion of the Haines State Forest is under consideration for logging. Known as the Baby Brown Timber Sale, the proposal by the Alaska Division of Forestry calls for 855 acres (20 million board feet) of Sitka spruce and western hemlock to be harvested from state land. The Baby Brown Timber Sale area is near Haines Alaska between Porcupine Creek, Jarvis Creek and the Klehini River.
The Baby Brown Timber Sale area also covers land that Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. has leased mineral rights. Constantine Metals is also currently exploring the Palmer Deposit area above Glacier Creek. The minerals that Constantine’s drilling explorations have found are primarily copper and zinc, with significant amounts of gold and silver.
If approved, the Baby Brown Timber Sale would be the largest sale in the Chilkat Valley since the 1990’s. The Division of Forestry estimates that the sale could generate 20 jobs directly associated with the harvest, $300,000 in royalties to the state. The economic impact of the sale to the statewide economy is estimated to $2,000,000.
Conservation groups are concerned by the size of the sale and the impact a sale of this size will have on the watershed, fish, and wildlife. There are also concerns about the impact the harvest will have on the viewshed visible from the Haines Highway (AK-7) which has been designated as a National Scenic Byway.
Interestingly, several of the photos I took last fall of the Palmer Deposit mine exploration by Constantine Metals can be used to illustrate the proposed Baby Brown Timber Sale. It might be an indicator of the potential stress that could be placed on the Chilkat Valley ecosystems as multiple industries vie for the same land. Mining, logging, salmon, bald eagles, and tourism — can they all co-exist?
MARCH 2015 UPDATE: The Alaska State Division of Forestry released their final best interest finding for the Baby Brown sale. This moves the sale forward into the planning phase. However, proposed state budget cuts to the state forestry division has the potential to slow the sale process.
APRIL 2015 UPDATE: Conservation groups including Lynn Canal Conservation, Greenpeace and Cascade Wildlands appeal the timber sale decision by the Alaska State Division of Forestry.
OCTOBER 2015 UPDATE: The Alaska State Division of Forestry denied the appeal by conservation groups to halt the sale.
ABOVE: A portion of the Haines State Forest pictured in this photo (hill area in the center) is under consideration for harvest. This photo shows the Baby Brown Timber Sale area near Haines Alaska, between Porcupine Creek (left) and Glacier Creek (right). The Klehini River is in the foreground. The photo was taken from the Haines Highway (AK-7). The Baby Brown Timber Sale also includes forest land west of Glacier Creek to Jarvis Creek (not shown). The area pictured also shows land that Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. has leased mineral rights. Constantine is currently exploring the area above Glacier Creek (right mountain slope). EDITORS NOTE: This panorama image was produced by electronically stitching together multiple single images..
TOP OF PAGE: A significant portion of the Haines State Forest pictured in this photo is under consideration for harvest. This photo shows the Baby Brown Timber Sale area near Haines Alaska, between Glacier Creek (bottom) and Jarvis Creek (top) near the border with Canada. The Klehini River is at the right. Also visible is the Haines Highway (AK-7). The Baby Brown Timber Sale also includes forest land west of Porcupine Creek (not shown). The area pictured also shows land that Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. has leased mineral rights. Constantine is also currently exploring the area above Glacier Creek.
ALASKA DIVISION OF FORESTRY – Preliminary Best Interest Finding and Decision for Baby Brown Timber Sale (includes map of the proposed sale parcels)
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