Tree thinning project gets stimulus money

A very expensive tree-thinning project in the Tongass National Forest is receiving more than a half-million dollars in federal stimulus money.

It will cost $2,800 to thin each acre of the 238-acre Ocean Boulevard project in southeast Alaska. That’s nearly three times as much as some other tree-thinning projects.

Tongass Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole says the $677,000 project’s true value may be in what it reveals about future management of the 17-million-acre Tongass.

He says there are about 450,000 acres of second-growth trees, and the key is to find viable uses for the wood.