Weigh in on plant

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Juneau Empire missed the mark in the March 3 editorial: "Activists shouldn't blast type of proposal it once advocated."

First of all, the Alaska Coalition, which has teamed with the Natural Resources Defense Council in its consumer education work, isn't blasting any business and we certainly did not "tell Ketchikan it can never have more wood," as the Empire alleges.

We are reaching out to Americans and asking them to weigh in on the veneer operations in Ketchikan because our members want the road-free portions of the Tongass National Forest to remain that way.

When the Tongass was stripped of protections offered by the Roadless Areas Conservation Rule more than a year ago, a U.S. Forest Service official told the media this needed to happen in order to get the veneer plant going. In response, we have asked the owners of this forest, the American public, to write to prospective operators of a veneer plant and encourage them to hold off on operations until protections for road-free areas of the Tongass are reinstated.

More and more people want to know where their food comes from, how businesses treat their employees, and what steps manufacturers take to reduce impacts on the environment. Timber companies and wood product manufacturers in Southeast can and should be answering these questions. It is up to these companies to decide what kind of answer they want to give to the American consumer.

Tim Bristol, executive director

Alaska Coalition

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