Forest, Woodland and Other Vegetative Resources
BLM-AK manages 20-30 million of acres of forests and woodlands. These lands are largely inaccessible and provide limited amounts of timber or other forest products. They are integral parts of wildlife habitat and watersheds. Products ranging from mushrooms to saw timber are harvested each year by individuals, small businesses and large corporations. It is the goal of this program to manage these resources under the principles of sustained yield for the benefit of present and future generations.
The purpose of the Forestry Program is to support the BLM’s multiple-use mission while providing timber, house logs fuelwood, and other vegetative resources for the Alaskans. The program also supports productive wildlife habitat, recreation and subsistence, while managing for healthy forests and watersheds. Public lands under BLM jurisdiction are managed to be as productive as feasible.
Sale of Timber and Other Vegetative Resources
Contact your nearest BLM office to obtain a permit or contract for forest products. Timber may be purchased by individuals or businesses. (Timber includes House Logs, Saw-timber, Posts and Poles and other woody materials that can be measured in board feet.) Most materials are sold via Negotiated Cash Sale or advertised bid. Forest products are sold at fair market value. (In Alaska, fair market value for timber and other vegetative resources from BLM land are similar to those on State land.) There are three exceptions to this rule:
- Free Use Permits may be issued when it is beneficial to the government. (Free Use Permits are issued for materials that are for personal use and may not be bartered or sold.) Timber is not available via Free Use.
- Subsistence Use Permits may be issued to rural residents for house logs, fuelwood, limited barter or sale is permitted. Definition of "subsistence use."
- Recreational Use is allowed for the harvest of reasonable amounts of berries, nuts, greenery, wildflowers or firewood for campfires on BLM lands.
Healthy Forest Initiative
The Healthy Forest Initiative (HFI) is an important national effort intended to reduce the risks of severe wildfires. By managing forests, woodlands, shrublands, and tundra from unnaturally intensive and destructive fires, HFI helps improve the condition of our public lands, increases firefighter safety, and conserves landscape attributes valued by society. http://www.fs.fed.us/projects/hfi/
An HFI Example: Kenai Forest Stewardship
A project that was designed to achieve HFI goals is the Kenai Forest Stewardship Project , located near Soldotna. Selective harvest was used to reduce fuels near residences resulting from bark beetle killed spruce. These treatments will reduce the danger that a wildfire could threaten the community. The treatments will also improve wildlife habitat by making moose forage more palatable.