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05/28/2010

Forest Service Announces New Plan for the Tongass National Forest

This past Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service announced a new vision for Alaska's Tongass National Forest.  At over 17 million acres, the Tongass is our country's largest and wildest intact forest.  It's home to some of the country's last remaining old-growth forest, contains unparalleled habitat for grizzlies and spawning salmon, protects vital watersheds for Alaskan communities, and stores huge amounts of carbon.

Tongass2
Photography copyrighted: John Hyde, Wild Things Photography

The administration's announced framework is encouraging.  It rightly recognizes that the future health of the region's economy relies on shifting forest management practices away from old-growth logging and towards science-based restoration.  The plan reinforces the fact that the region's total employment figures can actually benefit from moving away from logging and instead promoting tourism and restoration.

We are committed to working with the administration to ensure that they succeed in transitioning Tongass management away from old-growth logging immediately and towards a balanced approach that protects the region's diverse values for future generations.  We are also committed to defending the Tongass from threats, including legislation that would transfer approximately 70,000 high-value acres of the national forest to the Sealaska Native Corporation.

Read more about this legislation and contact your senators.


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