As you may have read in the news, the University of Alaska is expected to receive 360,000 acres of federal land within the next four years, as outlined in a clause of the $1.7 trillion federal omnibus budget law passed at the end of December.
Of those 360,000 acres, the university is planning to preserve 21,000 acres to expand its carbon credit program. The university’s Office of Land Management is now seeking public comments on this proposed plan, which would set aside certain parcels of the university’s land holdings for use in the carbon credit program.
Considering recent information about climate change and the large role that our region’s forests play in keeping ecosystems functional and resilient, it is clear that protecting Southeast Alaska’s old-growth forests is far more valuable than converting these forests into stumps for short-term profit.
Clearcut logging of the university’s parcels will only diminish the value of the University of Alaska’s assets and will come at the cost of healthy land, water, and people. Putting these forest stands on the carbon block instead of the chopping block will enhance other university management options, and not preclude other compatible uses of the lands.
Make sure to submit your public comment by 5 p.m. Alaska time on Thursday, Jan. 19. We’ve created an online portal to make it easy to comment. You can also fax your comment to 907-786-7733 or email it directly to [email protected].
Gunalchéesh — thank you — for all you do to protect Tlingit Aaní and the Tongass!
Maranda Hamme, Tongass Forest Program Manager
Katie Rooks, Environmental Policy Analyst