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Your opinion concerning the health of the Tongass is accurate and just. Your vision is more than fair, especially for future generations. In reading between the lines, you know about sustainable yield, crop rotation, the history and science of the Tongass. Your caliber of leadership has direction dedicated toward multiple use, which not only corresponds with Alaskans but what all people envision for this state. Alaska's external and internal problems relating to its renewable and non-renewable resources not only demand and require solutions, but need the support of true facts, which you have stated.
To confound the wants and theories of the extremists of right and left, and by combining socialism and democracy while preserving the sanity and dignity of the individuals this being the core of Alaskan philosophy. Your experience of constructive compromise and writing seems to have the knack that calms the exaggerated fears and inspires the sanity and refreshes the faith that is needed in these trying times we are going through.
Do not let opposition change your thoughts. The Tongass is healthy, although there are those who would rather stand in a cemetery than lie in a bed of roses.
The Tongass is over-ripe, the rot more noticeable than ever - only a fool would have a crop and not harvest it before it dies on the vine.
There are portions of the Tongass because of the clear cuts that will be of even age and rot-free for future generations to enjoy and multiple-use roads leading to these pristine spots. There is great need for a more sustainable form of construction on the framework of compromise and balance between the political and economical forces of the state.
If the leaders of local government have any expectation of building on infrastructure or creating economical development, they should know you have to have roads - not dead end roads, but roads that lead somewhere to something and adequate power to support industry along these roads.
I'm a third-generation Alaskan, supportive of those who know the wants and needs of the people and have corresponding obligations to those people and to the state.
In closing, Mr. Smith, I would like to say, you should have been the reporter on the trip that the President's Council on Sustainability took from Juneau to Hoonah to compare Tracy Arm wilderness where no logging took place to maximum clear cuts on private land. To my knowledge and for yours, there is no old growth in either area.