Murkowski Decries Forest Services' 'Restoration to Poverty' Policy

Stewardship Contracts are No Substitute for Promised Timber Sales

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today pressed U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell on the lack of timber sales in the Tongass National Forest, which are crucial to the economy of Southeast Alaska. Murkowski called the agency’s preference for stewardship contracts over timber sales insufficient to meet the economic needs of Southeast communities.

Murkowski was also critical of the Forest Service’s new policy, as described by Tidwell, of not pursuing any program that might result in legal challenges from environmental or other activist groups. Such a surrender of the agency’s responsibilities to manage Forest Service lands for the benefit of all leaves Southeast residents at the mercy of Outside groups, Murkowski said.

Murkowski made her comments Tuesday at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Hearing on the Forest Service’s budget request for fiscal year 2013. The full hearing can be viewed here.