Comment now to oppose the El Capitan Timber Sale!

Written by Maranda Hamme

September 9, 2022

This past week, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry issued a formal notice of the Division’s preliminary decision on the commercial El Capitan Timber Sale (SSE-1380-K).

This sale will subtract yet more old-growth habitat for Sitka Black-tailed Deer on Prince of Wales Island, and impact the karst lands (which serve as a network of underground, interconnecting fissures and cavities that transport nutrients throughout the old-growth forest) on the north end of the island. All this while punching in yet more roads and clearcut logging right down to the main highway — designated as one of Alaska’s Scenic Byways since 2010.

The area of this sale is proximate to the El Capitan Passage on Prince of Wales Island. The harvest unit’s total is roughly 340 acres and contains about 8 million board feet (8,000 MBF) of timber. And all of these 340 acres is mature, old-growth forest on several different land classifications. 

The good news is, as we are in the preliminary investigation, the public is invited to comment on any aspect of the decision. Public comments are due by Monday, Sept. 26, in writing to Greg Staunton, Southeast Area Forester, at 

Or you can submit a customized comment right now to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Division of Forestry through SEACC’s comment portal at or Tongass Action Page.

The final decision is expected to be available shortly after that deadline. 

Your comment will help ensure the continued protection of vital habitat for the Sitka Black-tailed Deer while safeguarding remaining old-growth areas near the karst.

For more information, see the Preliminary Best Interest Finding and Decision for the El Capitan Timber Sale (SSE-1380-K).

Gunalchéesh — thank you — for all you do to protect Tlingit Aaní and the Tongass!

Maranda Hamme
Tongass Forest Program Manager

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