Looming Tongass Threats

At the end of September, we wrote to tell you about our win upholding the Roadless Rule on the Tongass. Today, we were deeply disappointed to hear that Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is mounting a two-pronged attack on the Tongass: to exempt the Tongass (again) from the Roadless Rule and indefinitely delay implementation of last December’s Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment decision.

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Protecting our transboundary rivers - petitioning the federal government

Bear_photo.jpgThe Southeast Alaska Conservation Council along with Alaska Native and other conservation groups has asked for federal involvement in protecting our transboundary rivers, petitioning the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to investigate six mines in British Columbia. The mines are on the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers which flow from B.C. into Alaska. These rivers provide habitat for the abundant salmon runs which drive our economy and have sustained local communities for thousands of years.

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We Won! Roadless Areas Nationwide Remain Protected

Yakutat_Lee_House-2016_(2)_copy.jpgFrom the Tongass National Forest to the rest of the United States, nearly 50 million acres of national forest remain protected today thanks to a new decision by the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. The judge sided with the USDA, Forest Service, and conservation organizations including SEACC in striking down the state of Alaska’s latest attack on the ‘Roadless Rule,’ and protecting our wild ‘roadless’ areas from logging and logging roads into the future. 

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Tongass Reports - August Updates from America's Rainforest

As members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation introduce legislation in Washington DC that may affect the Tongass National Forest, you count on us to keep you informed.

Our Alaska Senators introduced several new bills this summer, but some will ring awfully familiar to many long time SEACC supporters, like the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Improvement Act of 2017 or the ANCSA Unrecognized Community Landless Natives Authorization Act of 2017. SEACC is keeping a sharp eye on these bills, and will alert you if they start moving. Together, by letting our elected officials hear our voices, we can help assure that decisions made far away in Washington D.C. are the best possible for Southeast’s land, water, and people.

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Mt Polley – The disaster 3 years later

Screen_Shot_2017-08-01_at_4.54.11_PM.pngAugust 4th marks the 3-year anniversary of the Mt Polley Mine Disaster, the worst environmental mining disaster in B.C.’s history. That day, a massive earthen tailings dam broke from its foundations, releasing millions of liters of toxic mine tailings into nearby Quesnel Lake, a major tributary of the Frasier River, one of Canada’s most important salmon-producing rivers. The dam was less than 20 years old.

The Quesnel Lake watershed has long provided the communities of the Xat’sull First Nation and town of Likely with clean water and fish. The waters of the lake, the deepest fjord lake in North America, were pristine and off limits to dumping. Now, three years later, the First Nations community remains unable to eat the lake’s fish that has sustained them for thousands of years. There have also been significant losses to the once flourishing tourism industry which has seen no compensation. Because Quesnel Lake is no longer pristine, BC now allows mine water to be dumped there.

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Tongass Report - Updates from America's Rainforest

We know that it can be hard to filter the mass of information coming out of D.C. and Juneau and track which will have an impact on the Tongass. Here at SEACC, our goal is to keep you informed about what is going on and provide you opportunities to protect what you love, the Tongass National Forest and the Inside Passage.  

Many of the current issues are ones that we have seen before such as the Alaska Mental Health Trust Lands or the Big Thorne timber sale. As your local watchdog nonprofit, SEACC will continue to keep you updated on these and other issues important for Southeast.

Want to do more? Contact SEACC to find out how you can host an event, volunteer, or attend events in your community.

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State Shutdown and the Tongass

On July 1st the Alaska State Government will shut its doors if the Alaska Legislature does not reach a compromise on how to close the state’s budget gap. Although both the Governor and House have offered real plans, the Senate has sat on its hands and rejected all attempts to come up with new revenue sources. With no budget agreed to by this past Friday, Governor Walker was forced to open a second special session. With less than two weeks left, it’s time for the Senate and Senate President Pete Kelly, who leads the Senate Majority, to step up, do their job and pass a budget. Failure to do so would have a resounding impact on all sectors of the Alaskan economy and way of life.  

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Not in Juneau - Don't resurrect the AJ Mine

Proposed changes to the CBJ mining code could allow the AJ Mine to be built without adequate public participation. The CBJ Committee of the Whole is meeting tonight to discuss this issue. Please write to the CBJ Assembly, or come to the public meeting tonight, at Juneau’s City Hall. 

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Alaska: The Next 150 Years?

March 30, 2017, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the transfer of Alaskan lands from Russian and the corporate interests of the Russian American Trading Company to the American republic. Nearly sixty years ago, the people of Alaska achieved statehood after wresting control from corporate interests like the salmon canneries based in the Lower 48, so we could manage this state’s amazing natural resources to protect our livelihoods and way of life for the long term. 

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Industry can pollute our water, why can't we protect it?

We are incredibly lucky here in Alaska. Over 99% of our water is of exceptional quality, providing for world class salmon runs and a thriving tourism industry.

Critical to keeping our water clean are the policies designed to protect it. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is required to have an antidegradation policy and implementation plan to assure the continued health of our waters. Included in this is the process for designating Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW), also known as Tier 3 waters. Designating a body of water as a Tier 3 water means that it is of such exceptional quality that it must be permanently protected, unlike a Tier 2 designation, which allows for a certain amount of degradation. 

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