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Governor Announces Appointments to New Timber Task Force

July 8, 2011, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today announced nine appointments to the Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force, which was recently created by Executive Order 258 to focus on and prepare recommendations for timber industry job creation in Alaska. The nine members are: Randy Ruaro, Chris Maisch, Kyle Moselle, Susan Bell, Elaine Price, Bryce Dahlstrom, Brad Cox, Owen Graham, and Beth Pendleton.

Randy Ruaro, of Juneau, has served as the governor's deputy chief of staff since 2008. He grew up in Ketchikan and earned a degree in political science and a juris doctorate from Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon. He has served Alaska in numerous capacities in both the Legislature as an attorney responsible for drafting legislation, and as a legislative liaison at the Alaska Department of Law. Prior to his state service, Ruaro was a practicing attorney with the law firm Keene and Currall. He is appointed as a representative of the governor.

Chris Maisch, of Fairbanks, has been the Alaska State Forester and Division Director since 2005. Prior to taking on that role, Maisch was Alaska's Northern Region forester. His career in Alaska began as an inventory forester in 1982 with Tanana Chiefs Conference, Inc., and he became the Conference's chief forester in 1985. Maisch earned a bachelor's degree in forestry from the University of Michigan, and is appointed to a seat representing the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Kyle Moselle, of Juneau, is the Tongass coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, a position he's held since 2009. Prior to taking on that role, Moselle worked for the State of Alaska as a habitat biologist and an environmental impact analyst. He holds a bachelor's degree in marine biology from the University of Alaska Southeast, and has served as a North Pacific groundfish observer. Active in the Juneau community, he is a member of the City and Borough of Juneau Fisheries Development Committee. Moselle is appointed to a seat representing the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Susan Bell, of Juneau, currently serves as the commissioner for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED). Most recently, she served as a special assistant to the governor, working closely with DCCED. Born in Nome and raised in Fairbanks, Bell has been a resident of Southeast Alaska since 1987. She is a shareholder of Bering Straits Native Corporation and Sitnasuak Native Corporation, and served as a vice president for Goldbelt Incorporated, with responsibility for the marketing and management of nearly a dozen separate business ventures. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska. In her spare time, she volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoys spending time outdoors. She is appointed to a seat representing the Alaska Industrial Export and Development Authority.

Beth Pendleton, of Juneau, is the Alaska Regional Forester for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, a position she's held since 2010. Prior to her current work with the Forest Service, Pendleton worked as the deputy regional forester for operations, the director for recreation, lands, and minerals, and as the team leader for the Tongass Forest Plan revision. Her other work at the USDA includes serving as the program manager for wildlife and fisheries, the Rocky Mountain Region deputy regional forester, the Pacific Southwest Research Station director, the former managing editor of scientific and technical publications, and with the National Wildlife Federation's Institute for Wildlife Research. Pendleton holds a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Vermont, a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries from South Dakota State University, and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wyoming. Pendleton or her designee will serve on the task force on behalf of the USDA.

Elaine Price is the projects manager for the City of Coffman Cove. She is the former owner of several small businesses, including Southeast Excavation and Landscaping, Safety First, and Shady Grove Nursery. An active member of her community and region, Price is also a member of the Southeast Island School Board, the Blue Water Christian Camp Board of Directors, the Alaska Island Community Services Board of Directors, the Prince of Wales Advisory Council, and she is the current chair of SEAtrails. She has been involved in local government for some time, including former service as the mayor of the City of Coffman Cove, and current service on the city council. Price is appointed to a seat representing Southeast Alaska communities.

Bryce Dahlstrom, of Craig, currently serves as the vice president of transportation and logging for the Viking Lumber Company, where he's been employed since 1996. He is a member of the Southeast Conference Board of Directors, the Alaska Forest Association Board of Directors, and co-chairs the SEC Timber Committee. Dahlstrom is appointed as a representative of the Alaska forest products industry.

Brad Cox, of Delta Junction, is a co-owner and lead engineer at Logging and Milling Associates LLC, which is involved in log home supplies, wood biomass products, and pellets.  Prior to his purchase of the company, Cox worked in a variety of engineering and management capacities at the mill. A former hunting and fishing guide, Cox received his private pilot's license in 1988. He is appointed as a representative of the Alaska forest products industry.

Owen Graham, of Ketchikan, is the executive director of the Alaska Forest Association, a position he's held since 2001. Prior to his work with the association, Graham managed the timber division of the Ketchikan Pulp Company, where he also worked as the chief logging engineer and contract manager. For the five years prior to joining the pulp company, Graham was a logging and construction engineer with the Crown Zellerbach Corporation. He received his bachelor's degree in forest management from the University of Washington, and is appointed as a representative of the Alaska forest products industry.

The Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force begins in July 2011, and will focus on developing recommendations that lead to new economic development and timber industry jobs, particularly in traditional timber harvests from federal, state, and private lands.

Executive Order 258 is available at:

http://gov.state.ak.us/admin-orders/258.html.

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