Forest for the trees

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2002

K.J. Metcalf couldn't be more correct when she described the importance of seeing the Tongass forest first hand and understanding the dynamics of how it has been affected by the timber industry. The USFS claims that 87 percent of the Tongass is old-growth trees, but many experts believe that this figure is somewhat misleading. Anyone who has been to various areas of the Tongass can see first hand that many of the big trees are gone, much more than 13 percent. The simple fact is that each tree is an important part of this ecosystem.

Timber workers speak of their jobs. The trees have jobs as well. They miraculously make oxygen which I think even loggers would agree, we all need. They provide homes for birds, squirrels, and insects. Their root systems provide a foundation in which the entire forest thrives. The timber industry is concerned about only wood and money. Isn't it about time someone thought of the trees' concerns? I think its about time we all start to see the forest for the trees.

Peter Williams

Juneau



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