This is a salute to the many men and women who have fought for years to preserve the patches of giant old growth forest so that I may now wander among these cathedral-like trees. Without their hard work and foresight it is very likely we would not enjoy today the incredible salmon runs of the Kadashan, a quiet night camping along the shores of Berners Bay, or the bounty of brown bears on Admiralty Island. These wild gems are a few of the remnants still standing after a half-century of industrial-scale logging. Meanwhile other unlogged areas equally important to communities for hunting, fishing, subsistence, recreation, and tourism remain without the safeguards they deserve.
With the recently released wilderness review, the Forest Service has again passed up an opportunity to offer long-term protection tailored for places like Upper Tenakee Inlet, Gravina Island and Port Houghton. For the Tongass warriors of old, the Forest Service's blatant disregard of both the public sentiment for preserving these places and the values of the 115 surveyed areas themselves comes as no surprise. I guess I was naive to expect more from our government.