Celebrate the Forth by protecting Roadless Areas!

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.

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Tongass Update June 2018

This has been a busy summer here on the Tongass and we wanted to share some highlights with you. Keep reading to find out about the status of the Farm Bill, the Roadless Rule, the UA Timber sale and the proposed Prince of Wales timber sale.

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Beating A Dead-End Road

On June 13th, Governor Walker decided to leave almost $21 million for the stalled Juneau Road Extension in the state budget. While we’d have preferred to see him use a line-item veto to remove this allocation, we believe the Governor when he says he “[was not] breathing life into something we have closed.”    

 

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Expanding 'Waste' Lines at the Greens Creek Mine

Hawk_Inlet.pngSpace is running out in the tailings pile at the Greens Creek Mine, which is generating a growing amount of toxic waste. As a result, the mine is seeking to expand. Allowing this expansion could come at high cost to Hawk Inlet in Admiralty Island National Monument where evidence suggests that the mine has already done harm to the aquatic life and food sources of the inlet.

Hecla’s mine claims pre-date Admiralty Island’s National Monument designation, allowing the company to operate in the monument only if the mine does not create irreparable harm to what the designation protects. Between 1978-1980, baseline studies were conducted to understand the pre-mine health of the inlet and to measure future change resulting from mine operations. Deemed the best way to measure the health of the ecosystem, the baseline study looked at the types and quantities of marine organisms in both Hawk Inlet and also a control area, Young Bay. This information disappeared from public view until it was uncovered by SEACC in 2014.

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Speak up for Prince of Wales Old Growth

Now is your chance to speak up for old growth on Prince of Wales. The US Forest Service hopes that the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project (POWLLAP) represents a better approach for project planning on the Tongass National Forest. While this approach has some positives to support it, it raises some serious concerns.

The US Forest Service recently came out with their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the comment period is underway. This is your last chance to have your say and protect the places you love on Prince of Wales. 

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ACT NOW - The Tongass is Back on the Chopping Block

Weekend_at_Murkowski's_Cartoon_by_John_Cox.jpgThe House of Representatives is deciding NOW whether to allow a new attack on the Tongass to move forward. This time it is Congressman Young, like Senator Lisa Murkowski before him, trying to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. 

Congressman Young’s Amendment 69, like the earlier attempt by Senator Murkowski, tries to exempt Alaska’s two national forests from the Roadless Rule. Thanks to the efforts of Tongass stronghearts like you and inspiring leaders like Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington, Congress dumped Senator Murkowski’s two poison-pill riders from the final 2018 omnibus spending package. Congressman Young is now attempting to attach his superfluous amendment to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2019 which is supposed to focus on helping the nation’s farmers and families in need through the food stamp program. 

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Say thanks to Tongass Stronghearts!

Call_Today.jpgLast week something extraordinary happened: the FY2018 omnibus spending package passed, WITHOUT Senator Lisa Murkowski’s two ‘poison-pill’ riders. The first rider would have created an exemption from the Roadless Rule for Alaska’s two National Forests, the Tongass and Chugach. The second would have thrown out the 2016 Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment which moves management of the Tongass towards a focus on young growth timber. A spending package without Tongass riders was a major win for the Tongass, and we couldn’t have done it without Tongass Stronghearts in Congress, like Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State.

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Alaska Legislature Tries to Resurrect the Juneau Road

Prefered_Alternative_2B.jpgEarly Sunday, the Alaska Legislature voted against the interests of the majority of residents in the Lynn Canal Area who oppose the dangerous and wasteful Juneau Access Project by re-appropriating $21 million to extend the dead end. This reverses the sound decision by Governor Bill Walker who, in December 2016, reallocated over $20 million from the road to other transportation and infrastructure projects in the Lynn Canal. 

Governor Walker still has the opportunity to reverse this bad decision by vetoing this section of the Appropriations Bill. Over the next month, he and his staff will be reviewing the bill and they need to hear from the people of Juneau and Southeast that we support his decision and oppose the Juneau Road.

Sign TODAY to Put an End to the Road

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Take Action NOW on the Juneau Road

The House Finance Committee is meeting TOMORROW, May 11, 2018, to discuss the Capital Budget which includes reversing Governor Walker’s decision to reallocate funds away from this dangerous and wasteful project and towards projects to enhance our transportation and infrastructure in the greater Lynn Canal area.

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Stuck on the Juneau Road Roundabout

Well, it looks like we are stuck on the Juneau Road roundabout, circling back to the same old question again -- should we extend a dead end 50 more miles? 

The answer is clearly no. The proposed 50-mile extension is a dangerous and overpriced waste of scarce resources that would ravage the ecologically and culturally important Berners Bay up Lynn Canal to the Katzehin River delta.  This dead end would force drivers to cross 36 avalanche chutes and over 100 “geological hazards,” like rock fall areas, to reach a new ferry terminal. Not only would this be dangerous to travelers, but expensive for taxpayers in Alaska and around the country. Four years ago, state officials estimated the cost at $574 million with an average $5 million in maintenance costs.

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