From Rebecca Caulfield, of Seattle:
The rich and complex beauty of our forests and the flora and fauna they hold never cease to bring me peace and a sense of awe whenever I navigate the trails. It is a dream of mine to visit the Tongass someday and I know without a doubt that I will be just as awe-inspired by its ancient trees, wetlands, rivers, streams, mountains, and abundant wildlife. I hope that when I do visit the Tongass that its almost 17 million acres will be intact and not razed down or mined at the hand of man. Millions of acres in my home state have been converted to forest “crop land” and are no longer habitable for many plant and animal species. Whenever I pass by barren land with sometimes hundreds of tree stumps, it evokes in me a profound sense of sadness and loss for what this land used to be. I hope that humans will overcome our need to exploit our planet’s precious remaining intact temperate rainforests; not just for the vital ecosystem services they provide but out of respect for the thousands of years these lands evolved into what they are today.