Computer glitch affecting public comments for Chugach forest management plan
The National Forest Service says it’s having problems accepting electronic comments on its Chugach National Forest draft Land Management Plan, a revision of the 2002 version.
When people try to submit their comments online, those comments are replaced with a 2016 form letter that has nothing to do with the Land Management Plan or the Chugach forest.
The inconsistency was first discovered Friday. The Forest Service believes it started on Wednesday or Thursday, as the website takes 24 hours to update after a submission. This trouble comes near the tail end of a 90-day public comment period, scheduled to end Nov. 1, leading to rumors on social media that the website has been hacked.
Alicia King, with Chugach National Forest public affairs department, says they’re trying to solve the issue because they value Alaskans’ input.
"We definitely hope that it is just a crossed wire,” King wrote. “Once we figure it out, their comments will be repopulated.”
The Forest Service has the names of people whose comments were affected. If you’ve already submitted comments electronically, it’s recommending you wait 24 hours and check back to make sure they’re appearing properly.
People who want to voice their opinion and avoid the website, can send or deliver written comments to:
Chugach National Forest’s Supervisor’s Office
Attn: Draft Land Management Plan
161 East 1st Avenue, Door 8
Anchorage, AK 99501
Comments can be faxed to 907-743-9476.
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