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Seven seats need to be filled on the 15-member Alaska Community Forest Council, and there is no reason Ketchikan area people shouldn’t be in the mix.
There’s no time to waste, though. The deadline to apply is Wednesday.
Three of the seven seats are for at-large members. The others must be filled by a forester, a municipal planner, someone in horticulture and a representative for the Cooperative Extension Service.
The state Division of Forestry describes the council as a nonprofit “that works to improve Alaskans’ quality of life by expanding and caring for urban and community forests. The council promotes the management of trees and forests within communities to maximize the many economic, environmental and social benefits that they provide.”
Council members, who serve three-year terms, will attend four meetings a year (in March, May, November and August, usually in Anchorage). They also serve on committees, take on normal business responsibilities in a nonprofit, and “support the care of trees in the communities in which they live.”
The council’s web site lists its purposes thus:
• Encourage public education and involvement in community forestry in order to increase knowledge of, and appreciation for, the benef?its of community trees and
• Encourage and support outreach into Alaska's communities to ensure that the council is sensitive and responsive to the cultural, economic and geographic diversity found in Alaska;
• Promote and build effective partnerships among public agencies, industry, businesses, local governments, schools and volunteer groups;
• Provide a public forum for sharing information so that the most benef?icial and economical community forestry policies and practices are identif?ied;
• Advocate for, and provide leadership on, appropriate community forestry policies, programs, and practices in Alaska;
• Provide public recognition and support for urban and community forestry achievements in Alaska.
Members aren’t on their own. There is an orientation before they attend their first meeting, and there is education and other hands-on training, according to the division. Travel expenses for Council business are reimbursed.
Applications are available at the web site http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/council.htm
Information is available from the Community Forestry Program of the Division of Forestry in Anchorage, or by emailing email@example.com
Terms will begin on July 1. Those named to the council will be notified late in May.
We’d love to see some Ketchikan, Prince of Wales or Metlakatla faces on that board.