Story last updated at 2:37 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2002

Demonstration Forest spared
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

An oversight by an Alaska Division of Forestry planner in Soldotna had Homer residents scrambling over the weekend to figure out how the Homer Demonstration Forest off Baycrest Hill could have been included in five-year plan for timber sales on state land on the Kenai Peninsula.

By Tuesday, Division of Forestry officials were telling concerned citizens they planned to remove the 360-acre parcel from the document.

"It was just an oversight," area forester Jim Peterson said. "We've got a new forester on the staff and I didn't catch that he'd included (the Demonstration Forest.)"

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblywoman Milli Martin said Peterson told her that operations forester Rick Janereau had not realized what that particular site was.

"I was told it was added in error and will be removed," Martin said.

The inclusion of the state-owned educational Demonstration Forest in the logging plan was first noticed when Homer resident and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge ecologist Ed Berg was reviewing the timber sale document.

Berg said it looked like the plan had included nearly all of the state's Division of Natural Resources land, including the Demonstration Forest and Overlook Park, a place Berg thought would be extremely difficult to log.

Berg made a few phone calls to investigate and after talking with Janereau he felt confident the "conceptual" document was not set in stone, despite the fact the public comment period on the timber sale plan ended Friday.

Peterson said people concerned about propose areas for timber sales on state-owned Peninsula land can find information on the plan on the forestry Web site <> www.dnr.state.ak.us/forestry. The site lists a link for timber sales, which will have specific information about the plan and the schedule of moving the bid process forward.

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