From Lester Miller, of Franklin, Wisconsin:
As a nature and wildlife photographer, I hope to visit and photograph the Tongass National Forest in the near future. I am now participating in grizzly bear, puffins, and polar bear photo tours.
In July 2019, I was awestruck by my Alaska Brown Bears photography tour in Lake Clark National Park. It was the experience of a lifetime to photograph grizzly bears in the wild and close up. We had an excellent bear guide and photo tour leader that got us safely close to the bears. We were also treated to a fabulous afternoon photographing puffins, murres, and kittiwakes on an island. Our private lodge was sensational, and we had excellent transport service to/from Lake Hood Airport.
I have now booked a 2021 Churchill, Manitoba Polar Bear Photographer Tour to photograph polar bears, arctic foxes, arctic hares, snowy owls, and the Northern Lights.
The Tongass National Forest and Glacier Bay National Park are at the top of my list to visit and photograph the wildlife and natural beauty. These trips support the substantial and sustainable Southeast Alaska economies: lodges, guides, fishing industry, air transportation, and more. It would be unconscionable to turn over the Roadless Areas of the Tongass to the unsustainable and permanently destructive logging and mining industries that represent only a minuscule part of the Southeast Alaska economy. This would permanently devastate the forest. Further, the Tongass is our largest old-growth national forest and is needed for carbon storage to fight the climate crisis. I want to see this magnificent forest and its wild salmon runs untouched. My visits to Redwood and Sequoia National Parks made me wish that the 95% of these original forests were never butchered by the loggers which ruined these great forests forever. The Tongass must be saved.