Post Summary: Information on the Tongass National Forest, the Roadless Rule, the threats of the Trump Administration, and how to take action!
First, THANK YOU for caring enough to come to this page and spend your time and energy learning about the issue before us. This is a GLOBAL issue as you’ll soon learn.
THE SHORT AND SWEET:
The Tongass National Forest is a 17-million-acre temperate rainforest in Southeast Alaska, making this the LARGEST temperate rainforest left in the world.
“The 2001 Roadless Rule establishes prohibitions on road construction, road reconstruction, and timber harvesting on 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas on National Forest System lands. The intent of the 2001 Roadless Rule is to provide lasting protection for inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System in the context of multiple-use management.” – USDA Forest Service
The Tongass National Forest was one of the areas protected under this rule. The Trump Administration is proposing to eliminate this rule in the Tongass NF, opening up the roadless rainforest to clearcut logging and road building. They have drafted several alternatives that range in how much forest is opened up to logging, but the only alternative is the NO ACTION alternative to leave the Roadless Rule intact.
(scroll to bottom to take action by submitting a pre-written letter to Forest Service! Public Comment is only open until mid-December so ACT NOW)
Important Information on WHY the Roadless Rule should remain intact:
- ‘The Tongass, said U.S. Forest Service research soil scientist David D’Amore, has “definitely some of the highest (carbon stores) in the world” per unit area. “I hesitate to say ‘the highest,’ because there are some forests in Indonesia that are pretty high, but we are in the top five,” he said.’
- The Tongass is one of the world’s top carbon sinks, meaning it has been acting as the “lungs” of North America
- Logging fragments the environment for animal populations. This would further endanger animals such as the Alexander Archipelago wolf.
- Commercial fishing rely on the watersheds to remain intact for salmon populations to remain healthy.
- The timber industry has a short life, and logging is only about1% of Southeast Alaska’s jobs
- Trump Administration Forest Services argues that it would be economically beneficial for Alaskan’s, but the taxes and money required to build roads and fund mining and logging projects would be great.
- One mile of Road would equate to roughly $180,000 taken off the timber sales, reducing any real economic value for Alaskans.
If we allow for roads to be built, we will never be able to get back what once was. We will forever change the land, the way the animals live there, and the way the land functions to help keep our Earth alive for human habitation.
We cannot think of the Tongass National Forest in it’s immediate value to communities (temporary jobs and dollars for Alaska), because stripping the land of it’s value will ultimately negatively impact everyone, the animals and the Earth.
Take Action! Click HERE or on the picture below to submit a pre-written letter with your name to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and the Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.
Check out these great resources below to learn more!
- THE LAST STANDS – Website containing facts and information on how to get involved
- FOR THE WILD PODCAST – Episode from Oct. 16th with ELSA SEBASTIAN on Loving the Last Stands of the Tongass (Duration 1 hour)
- NPR SHORT WAVE PODCAST – Episode: Logging ‘The Lungs’ of North America (Duration 10 minutes)
- JUNEAU EMPIRE ARTICLE -From rock to forest: Southeast’s carbon sink
- SOUTHEAST ALASKA CONSERVATION COUNCIL – Roadless Rule Toolkit
- UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREST SERVICE – defining the Roadless Rule