Month: May 2011

As diesel use subsides, strong words on hydro regs

Sitka could return to full hydro power generation as of Thursday. The City of Sitka’s massive Number Four diesel generator, has been running from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day since Friday, in order to compensate for low lake levels at Blue Lake and Green Lake, where the city generates hydro power.

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Water quality trumps roadless issue at Blue Lake

Being one of the twelve projects identified in the proposed Roadless settlement is not an automatic green light. All developments in the inventoried roadless areas of the Tongass still have to be vetted by the Forest Service, and then sent to the Secretary of Agriculture for a signature – before they can be built. But that – to the relief of Sitka’s electrical department – is exactly what’s happened to the proposed Blue Lake hydro expansion. And while the Roadless issue is not on the table, some other important forest issues remain.

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Murkowski asks USFS to defend Roadless settlement

Sen. Lisa Murkowski took the head of the US Forest Service to task on Thursday (5-19-11) for his agency’s role in agreeing to limit development in the Tongass that may require road building. The US District Court in March vacated the Tongass’s exemption from national roadless policy. Earlier this month the same court released proposed a settlement between the Forest Service and the plaintiffs allowing a dozen various projects to move forward, including Sitka’s Blue Lake hydro expansion.

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