In December, shortly before the holidays and the start of the government shutdown, SEACC and several of our allies filed objections on the proposed Record of Decision and Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Forest Service for the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project (POWLLAP).
One objection focused on the agency’s failure to consider and respond to the concerns raised over spraying herbicides on invasive plants. The other targeted the harmful environmental and economic impacts from the proposed decision to log roughly 24,000 acres of old-growth forest and build roughly 150 miles of road. The proposed development will impact salmon habitat, wildlife, and the people who depend on these valuable resources over the next 15 years.
The Stikine River and the nearby city of Wrangell are facing a renewed threat. The proposed Galore Creek Mine, across the border in British Columbia and in the Stikine River Watershed, has been stalled since 2008 but recently got a jolt back to life. As of July 2018, the proposed mine, similar in size to the proposed KSM and Pebble Mines, has received additional investment from the Newmont Mining Corporation. Should the project be developed, it would be an open-pit, acid-generating mine with the potential to contaminate water and threaten downstream communities and fish habitat.
Newmont has already proved dedicated to jumpstarting the mine, building access roads and bridges into the claims which are estimated as some of the largest gold, silver, and copper deposits in the world. The mining claims cover 290,000 acres and the mine is expected to last 20 years. During this time it would discharge treated wastewater into the Iskut River with untreated, potentially acidic water likely to leach into Galore Creek, both of which are part of the Stikine River Watershed.Read more
Have you written the Forest Service to tell them to keep Roadless in the Tongass? The comment period closes THIS MONDAY so submit your comments today!
The Roadless Rule protects inventoried roadless areas on all national forests from wasteful and harmful logging roads and is an important part of conservation here on the Tongass National Forest. To learn more about what has been going on, check out our recent Action Alert.Read more
The Forest Service has almost completed its fourteen-day-sprint through Southeast Alaska for the state-specific Roadless Rule scoping meetings. Despite not taking notes for the record or recording the comments of literally hundreds of Southeast Alaskans who made time in a busy fall season to attend the scoping meetings, Forest Service staff from DC are plowing forward with plans to reduce roadless area protections on the Tongass National Forest; plans sufficiently weak to appease the administration of Governor Walker after the State failed to convince any federal court that their tired claims had merit.Read more
This week (October 2nd and 3rd) the State of Alaska will hold the first meeting of the Citizen Advisory Committee, a multi-stakeholder group which will be advising the State of Alaska on the rulemaking process for an Alaska-specific Roadless Rule. These meetings are open to the public both in person and by teleconference.Read more
Yesterday, the State of Alaska and the US Forest Service signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate the process to develop an Alaska-specific version of the 2001 Roadless Rule, which currently protects some 9.2 Million acres of Tongass National Forest lands from being casually roaded for logging purposes. The addition of new logging roads to intact forest lands is widely understood and well-documented as having a profound negative impact on the quality of habitat, species diversity, and other characteristics of a natural forest that we contemplate when we think of a landscape that is truly wild.Read more
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State took a decisive stand for roadless areas across America by introducing the ‘Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2018.’ When enacted, the proposed legislation will convert the Forest Service’s enormously popular Roadless Rule into federal law. Should the legislation pass, such a transformation would establish national protection for all Inventoried Roadless Areas of the National Forest System across America, including those on the Tongass National Forest, which provide some of the most spectacular and unique roadless values anywhere.Read more
At a time when good news is hard to come by, we are thrilled to tell you that the Juneau Road finally has an end! Yesterday the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released their Record of Decision, selecting the no-build alternative for the Juneau Access Project, putting an end to the Juneau Road.
This decision protects US taxpayers and travelers in Southeast Alaska while preserving the largest roadless area on the Tongass National Forest, areas of great cultural significance to the Aak’w Kwáan, the original settlers of Juneau, and the abundant fisheries and wildlife resources of Berners Bay. It also supports the true heart of our transportation system, the Alaska Marine Highway, which provides transportation throughout Southeast for communities large and small.Read more
Just announced - Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is coming to Southeast Alaska on July 5th. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, Secretary Perdue will be traveling north to America’s Rainforest. The Forest Service is part of the Department of Agriculture, which means that Secretary Perdue will have a big influence on the future of the Roadless Rule on the Tongass. He will tour Prince of Wales Island with Senator Lisa Murkowski where they will visit Viking Lumber, Good Creek Mills, and see stands of old and young growth trees.Read more