By Seth Ballhorn
On Nov. 20 we got our first look at the Forest Service’s latest draft amendment for the Tongass Land Management Plan. There’s both good and bad news.
The good news? The Forest Service’s preferred alternative, Alternative Five, finally drops special areas like Port Houghton, Poison Cove and Ushk Bay, Castle River, Broad Finger Creek, and East Kuiu from the timber base. All these lands were designated wilderness in the 1989 House-passed version of the Tongass Timber Reform Act, but left unprotected in the final compromise bill in 1990.
The bad news? Despite announcing a rapid transition from old-growth to young growth logging on the Tongass more than five years ago, the Tongass remains the only National Forest in the America where clearcut logging of irreplaceable old-growth forest persists. Instead of taking a hard look at our suggestion for a more rapid, five-year transition, the Forest Service continues to breed controversy by dragging its feet for at least 15 more years.
Twenty-five years after the Tongass Timber Reform Act we’re still working to reform timber management on the Tongass.
Here’s how you can help:
- Sign the petition supporting a different approach that prioritizes fish and wildlife habitat, the tourism and recreation industries and carbon storage values over outdated logging practices – the Tongass Blueprint.
- Look for upcoming opportunities to learn more and weigh-in on the latest Tongass Plan amendment. The comment deadline is Feb. 22, 2016 and we’ll be sharing more information about the plan with you soon.
- Your contribution today can help us advocate for a sustainable future for all renewable forest resources on the Tongass.