Chiniak Logging Jumps Boundaries

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Jacob Resneck/KMXT

About a dozen acres in Chiniak have been logged outside the area approved by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. However, the state forester monitoring the operation says the Division of Forestry opted to hold a training session in Anchorage with the loggers rather than levy fines or other penalties.

(logging pkg 2:00 "The unauthorized … next month. I’m Jacob Resneck.")

The unauthorized cut was reported by the native village corporation that owns the land, Leisnoi, Inc. to the state’s Division of Forestry. Forestry inspector John Winters took the call and visited the site.

— winters1

Leisnoi’s contractor A-1 Timber Consultants, Inc. is logging the land. A plan filed by the contractor received approval to log 10.2 million board feet in the Chiniak area by the end of 2010. But A-1 apparently logged 11.9 acres outside the approved area. Winters said his agency has decided not to impose any penalties.

— winters2

Landowners that cut outside of approved sites can be punished, but Winters said that so far the Chiniak operation appears to have been well executed. There have been no other reported violations and the native corporation acted in good faith by reporting the cut.

— winters4

Leisnoi’s CEO Carol Pagano confirmed that the cutting had occurred but declined further comment because she said she had not been authorized to speak by the corporation’s board of directors.

Winters says he plans to return to the Chiniak site as well as ongoing operation on Afognak Island later next month.

I’m Jacob Resneck

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