In a meeting that ended at midnight, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly approved a new timber harvest contract and port lease for the export of round logs to China. In this second timber sale public hearing, the Assembly approved a five-year contract with Charles Nash for a timber sale in some 15,126 operable acres of the Borough-owned Chijuk Creek area and a five-year lease at Port MacKenzie with Eric Oien of Denali Timber Management.
The Assembly voted to adopt a new contract and amend it. Supporting documents of the timber sale near Oilwell Road and the port lease are posted here including amendments, the new contract, the Borough Manager's answers for Assembly, and the Denali Timber Management Timber Transport Plan.
The Assembly requested that approval of the transportation plan be required before the ordinance becomes effective and for the Manager to give a presentation. Nash's timber harvest and transportation permit are under review by staff and soon will be posted to the front of the Borough website for public review for 30 days.
Eric Oien, of Denali Timber Management, presented his Timber Transport Plan to the Assembly. The plan is posted here. Oien told the Assembly the daily load count will be 20 to 30 loads per day, Monday through Friday with a five-hour quiet time from midnight to 5 am. He also said the hauling would cease during the start and end of school bussing time.
Several residents at the prior meeting and this April 17 meeting expressed concerns about safety for residents and recreation vehicles encountering logging trucks along Oilwell Road.
Oien told the Assembly his drivers would be trained on Oilwell Road protocol upon hire. He highlighted dust control measures, speed limits, new trail creation alongside the road for dog teams, ATVs, and snow machines, the addition of new parking at mile 12.4 for recreational use, and the installation of turnouts on the south bound side of the road, among other considerations for safety.
Estimated annual revenue, as stated in the legislation, is $960,000 paid to the Borough with $334,500 generated by the lease of eight acres and the rest from dockage and wharfage fees.
Watch the entire meeting on timber from the Clerk's video link on the April 17 Assembly agenda webpage.
Top photo of Eric Oien of Denali Timber with crowd in room for several subjects including timber contract, school funding, tax cap, and Williwaw crime fight. Photo by Patty Sullivan.