Press Release: Trump Administration Paves Way for Old-growth Clearcutting in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 15, 2019
ALASKA WILDERNESS LEAGUE * AUDUBON ALASKA * CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY * DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE * EARTHJUSTICE * GEOS INSTITUTE * NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL * SIERRA CLUB * SOUTHEAST ALASKA CONSERVATION COUNCIL * THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY * WOMEN’S EARTH AND CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK (WECAN)*
Trump Administration Paves Way for Old-growth Clearcutting in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest
Forest Service Proposal Would Gut Protections across 9 Million Acres of America’s Largest National Forest
Recently Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote an Opinion Editorial in the Washington Post praising President Trump's desire to exempt the Tongass National Forest from National Roadless Rule protections.
We asked SEACC's Grassroots Attorney Buck Lindekugel, who has worked to conserve valuable resources on the Tongass since 1988, to fact check Senator Murkowski's editorial paragraph by paragraph. It's wonky but the facts don't lie.
The Toxic Water Crisis Caused by PFAS
WHAT ARE WE FOLLOWING?
State and Local Government Responses to PFAS
Most of the PFAS contamination in Alaska is found in the groundwater near airports that use Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for firefighting. The state of Alaska tests communities with certified airports where PFAS-containing AFFF was used and likely entered the groundwater. These communities include Fairbanks, North Pole, Eieslon, Utqiagvik, Dillingham, Gustavus, Yakutat, Galena and King Salmon. If your community is not on this list, it doesn’t mean the groundwater isn’t contaminated. The local governments of other communities that have a possibility of contamination, such as Juneau, are also conducting groundwater testing. Juneau’s results are expected in a couple weeks. ADEC has published a list of labs approved for PFAS testing in drinking water for any communities or individuals conducting testing on their own.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) has reduced their standards for PFAS testing and protections. This will leave us at higher risk for PFAS exposure and health impacts, despite increasing knowledge of this widespread, emerging problem.
I’m pleased to share an exciting new partnership for SEACC! This weekend in St. Louis, Missouri, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will be announcing that the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is joining the federation as its Alaska affiliate! The National Wildlife Federation is an 83-year-old national conservation organization that for the better part of a century has sought to give wildlife a voice and a vote, while simultaneously working to unite Americans from all walks of life around the common cause of conservation.Read more
Yesterday, American Rivers announced the ten Most Endangered Rivers of 2019. Featured prominently on this list, for the first time, are two iconic and highly important rivers of Southeast Alaska – the Chilkat and the Stikine. Both rivers are facing social, environmental, economic, and health impacts from mining. Yet, both rivers are critical to the communities, salmon, and wildlife that depend on them.
We have exciting news this spring: SEACC is moving! In the last few years, our ranks have grown along with our program work. So, like fledgling robins in spring, we have gradually outgrown our nest at 224 Gold Street and are taking flight to new digs!
This past week we closed on a bright, airy, spacious new office space at 2207 Jordan Avenue in Jordan Creek, near the airport in Juneau.Read more
The Power of Collective Action
We're trying something new! Once a month, we'll be sharing three things that are catching our attention on water-related topics throughout Southeast Alaska and beyond, highlighting policies (What are we following?), actions (What are we doing?), and people or groups that inspire us (What are we learning?). We hope you enjoy our new series, Water Currents. We’d appreciate hearing your feedback and ideas for topics you’d like us to cover.Read more
On Friday, January 25th , southeastern Brazil experienced yet another catastrophic mining disaster. The tailings dam at the Corrego do Feijao Mine, an iron ore mine owned by Vale (one of the world’s largest mining companies), breached and spilled 13 million cubic meters of toxic waste that covered downstream villages and spread into the Paraopeba River. More than 60 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are still missing.Read more
On Wednesday, December 5th, the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission (SEITC), which represents 15 sovereign Tribal Nations from Southeast Alaska, submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stating that the unfettered mine development in British Columbia violates the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
Alaska Roadless Rule Citizens Advisory Committee Recommends Stripping Roadless Protections on the Tongass
Last week the State of Alaska’s Roadless Rule Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) submitted their final report to the Governor and State Forester. These recommendations will be considered as the State develops information for the Forest Service to incorporate into the Environmental Impact Statement and public rulemaking process. This process relates to the Forest Service’s response to the State of Alaska’s petition to unravel national Roadless Rule protections on the Tongass National Forest.Read more