This newsletter is going to be (mostly) good news for once so grab your favorite beverage and buckle up.
Let’s start with the bad: SB85. As you’ve heard before, is a bad timber bill that would open up state forests for round log exports to China and remove opportunities for public comment from state timber sales. There is a hearing with opportunity for public comment at 9 a.m. today. We hope you’ll join if you can, or write to Senator.Bert.Stedman@akleg.gov to express your opposition!
Meanwhile, President Biden was announcing a new executive order that brings us closer to lasting protections for the Tongass’s old-growth and mature forests. SEACC is part of a national campaign to solidify these protections in a new administrative ruling (just like the National Roadless Rule) and we’re inviting all our followers to celebrate by signing this letter thanking Biden and urging him to move quickly to the next step of a rulemaking process. I said as much to KTUU last week!
This is just the first step in a longer process, and SEACC will be keeping you up to speed every step of the way. The recent timber sale proposal in Thomas Bay, to clearcut up to 800 acres of young growth in a single batch, is a sure sign that continued vigilance is going to be necessary.
Spring is fully upon us now and in honor, I want to focus on some local food options in our region. Salt and Soil makes it easy for folks in Juneau, Sitka, and Haines to support local food systems, shrink the carbon footprint of your diet, and of course, it’s the best, freshest food you’re going to find short of getting it yourself!
If you haven’t before, this is a great time to make your first order!
On the other end of Southeast, hydroponic businesses are sprouting all around Ketchikan. I had the opportunity to tour Ketchikan Evergreen with owner Geoff Jans last week and learned more about his business and vision for feeding the community while growing a new economy.
Speaking of, SEACC is traveling again! Heather, Katie, and I spent the last week in Ketchikan, meeting with supporters and holding a town hall session at the ANB/ANS Camp 14 Meeting Hall. Folks shared their concerns as well as hopes for forest management, affordable housing, and food sovereignty — among many other topics.
By the time you read this, I’ll be in Craig on Prince of Wales preparing for another town hall.
COVID allowing, we have travel planned for Petersburg, Wrangell, Kake, and Angoon. Of course, we always have a presence in Sitka, Juneau, Haines, and Prince of Wales. The SEACC team will be in touch with your community before we head your way, but don’t wait if you want to talk to us or help support an event. Reach out now!
Matt Jackson, Climate Program Manager