‘It’s going to hurt everybody’: Timber giant quits logging

By / Marc Heller, E&E News reporter

Two years ago, Sealaska Corp. gave the Trump administration a prescription for managing the region’s millions of acres of forest. Open more areas to logging, the Alaska Native corporation urged, including places never harvested for timber.

By earlier this year, though, Sealaska — the largest private landholder in southeast Alaska and a major player in the timber industry — had taken a sharply different view of the future for its own 290,000 acres of forest: one without commercial logging.

“Several years ago, we started carefully investing in successful new businesses that are better aligned with Sealaska’s Alaska Native heritage,” Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott said in a Jan. 11 news release announcing the change, citing ocean-based foods and tourism as growth industries. “Now we are in a good position to redirect our efforts into work that’s in balance with our natural resources, and that we also believe will create significantly more value for shareholders and communities in the long term.”