You have a choice

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Don Smith's Sunday editorial is a classic bait and switch. Rather than address the real issue of whether watersheds like Berners Bay, Port Houghton, Point Couverden, and Tenakee Inlet should be logged, Smith attacks the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC).

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Far from extreme, SEACC has raised legitimate questions about how the region's resources can be used for the long-term benefit of everyone. For more than 30 years, SEACC has worked to give local people a voice in decisions that will affect our environment and way of life for decades to come.

The ongoing review of remaining wildlands in the Tongass is a perfect example. Do you hunt deer or bear? Sport or commercial fish? Boat or camp? Kayak? Make money from tourism? Make hemlock cabinets? Want to pass on to your kids a place that is something different than the Lower 48? Then you have a choice.

You can agree with the Forest Service that our region is best served by more subsidized timber sales and logging roads over the next 10 years in controversial places like Cowee and Davies Creeks and other major unprotected watersheds. Or you can ask the Forest Service to safeguard those areas for hunting, fishing, recreating, and other uses and ask that it spend its taxpayer money in less divisive ways such as timber sales from the existing road system.

The choice is yours. The Forest Service will be taking testimony Tuesday from 5-9 p.m. at Centennial Hall and accepting written comments until Aug. 17.

Jeremy Anderson

Executive Director

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

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