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Many regional groups disputed Tongass plan

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Juneau Empire did a disservice to its readers in reporting that legal disputes over the Tongass Land Management Plan were filed by "a New York-based environmental group" ("Forest Service sets land plan for Tongass" on Jan. 27).

While there was a New York-based group in the litigation, there was also a Juneau-based conservation group, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council; a Ketchikan-based conservation group, the Tongass Conservation Society; a Sitka-based conservation group, the Sitka Conservation Society; and the tribal government for Kake, the Organized Village of Kake. These groups were represented by the Juneau office of Earthjustice, a national, nonprofit law firm.

Why did the Empire neglect to mention the substantial involvement of local residents in this important legal effort to safeguard the most important places in the Tongass? Southeast Alaskans care deeply about what happens in the Tongass and are actively engaged in all efforts to improve management of the forest.

We are privileged to live in a national forest that is recognized as a treasure by people throughout the country. Alaskans should welcome their support, but let's not overlook the contributions of our own residents.

Tom Waldo

Staff attorney, Earthjustice

Juneau



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