Lawsuit seeks release of Tongass timber sale audit

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“A watchdog group hopes a lawsuit will shake loose more evidence of lost revenue from timber sales on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The borough government in Petersburg has also sought answers about what’s been done to fix problems with little response.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is a nationwide watchdog for group for current and former public sector workers based in Silver Spring, Maryland.  It has published other internal documents from the U.S. Forest Service faulting oversight, transparency and accounting for timber contracts on Prince of Wales Island and near Petersburg. PEER in August has asked for the agency to release its audit of Tongass timber sales under the Freedom of Information Act. That request has yet to be fulfilled and the group is asking the courts to enforce the law. PEER’s Pacific director Jeff Ruch expects the audit will confirm those earlier findings.”

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