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Alaska Community Forest Council seeks new members

The Alaska Community Forest Council is seeking to fill five council seats this year in the following categories: Landscape Architect; Construction/Right of Way; Community Forestry or Beautification; Cooperative Extension Service; and Member at Large.

The council is a nonprofit organization and advisory body to the Division of Forestry that works to improve Alaskans’ quality of life by expanding and caring for urban and community forests. The council promotes the management of trees and forests within communities to maximize the many economic, environmental and social benefits that trees provide.

Applications and information about the council and the Division of Forestry’s Community Forestry Program are available on the web at: http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/council or by contacting the Community Forestry Program office at 269-8466 or stephen.nickel@alaska.gov. Completed applications are due no later than Wednesday, May 2, 2018. New appointees will be notified in late May and the terms begin on July 1, 2018 and end June 30, 2021.

Council members are asked to attend all-day meetings four times each year. Members serve on working committees, handle the normal business responsibilities of a nonprofit, and support the care of trees and forests in the towns where they live. Members attend orientation before the first meeting and are provided educational opportunities and hands-on training. Council members are reimbursed for travel expenses if applicable.

CONTACT: Stephen Nickel, 269-8466, stephen.nickel@alaska.gov


Burn permits required starting April 1

The Alaska Division of Forestry reminds residents that general burn permits for open debris burning and the use of burn barrels are required starting April 1 in areas under state wildland fire protection.

Burn permits are required annually and residents must obtain a new permit at the start of each season. Burn permits are free and available at State forestry offices, most local fire departments or can be downloaded and printed at https://dnr.alaska.gov/burn.

Debris burning and the use of burn barrels are the leading cause of wildland fires in Alaska. Burn permits contain instructions for safe and legal burning.

Residents are required to read and sign the permit before burning. They must also call the forestry office listed on the permit or check online each day before burning to ensure that burning is allowed. Permittees must have the burn permit in their possession when burning. Burn permits are NOT required for camping or warming fires under 3 feet in diameter.

Burn barrels and debris burning are not permitted within some municipalities. Residents should check with their local forestry office or fire authorities to determine if burning is allowed in their area.

Burn piles larger than 10 feet in diameter and 4 feet high require a large-scale burn permit, which requires a site inspection by a State Forestry Prevention Officer and a burn plan prior to a permit being issued.

Anyone who fails to obtain or adhere to the conditions of a burn permit can be held criminally liable for damage caused by an escaped fire.

CONTACT: Tim Mowry, 907-356-5512, tim.mowry@alaska.gov


Notice of Proposed Regulation Changes on Negotiated Timber Sales

The Department of Natural Resources proposes to revise two regulations for state timber sales to provide additional time for operators to complete small negotiated sales and to conform with recent statutory changes in requirements for negotiated sales to local manufacturers.

The Department of Natural Resources proposes to adopt regulation changes in 11 AAC 71. Timber and Material Sales of the Alaska Administrative Code, dealing with negotiated timber sales, including the following:

  • (1) 11 AAC 71.045(e) is proposed to be changed to increase the maximum period of time for a small negotiated timber sale under AS 38.05.115 from one year to two years.
  • (2) 11 AAC 71.055(a) is proposed to be changed to clarify that a public interest finding is required for an AS 38.05.118 negotiated sale, and that a sale to a local manufacturer includes both wood products manufacturers and users of wood fiber.
  • (3) 11 AAC 71.055(a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) are proposed to be repealed to align this regulation with recent changes to AS 38.05.118, the statutory authority for negotiated timber sales to local manufacturers. This change provides the Department of Natural Resources with more flexibility to use negotiated sales to meet local timber industry needs statewide.

You may comment on these proposed regulation changes, including the potential costs to private persons complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, at 3700 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709. Additionally, the Division of Forestry will accept comments by facsimile at (907) 451 2690 and by email at james.schwarber@alaska.gov. The comments must be received by the department no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 20, 2018.

A copy of the proposed regulation changes is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System at http://notice.alaska.gov/189007 and by contacting James Schwarber at james.schwarber@alaska.gov or by phone (907)451-2704.

The Department of Natural Resources received the following written question regarding the proposed regulation changes in 11 AAC 71 dealing with negotiated timber sales.

Question: In 11 AAC 71.055(a) what part of the existing timber industry in Alaska qualifies as "users of wood fiber"?

Answer: AS 38.05.118 was amended in 2016 to clarify that a negotiated sale of timber may be to a manufacturer of wood products or a user of wood fiber. The intent is for these provisions to apply to both local manufacturers of wood products and users of wood fiber; as such all elements of Alaska’s existing timber industry qualify. The sectional analysis for Senate Bill 32 (later codified at ch. 42, SLA 2016) "clarifies that DNR may negotiate sales to wood fiber users, including biomass energy producers, in addition to wood product manufacturers." Other examples of users of wood fibers may include, but are not limited to, suppliers of pellets, chips, or firewood, and paper mills.


Forestry Social Media Sites

DOF now has Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube pages:

Individual links to Youtube content: