Save the forest

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2003

As a resident of Tenakee Springs, I am very disappointed with the U.S. Forest Service's plan to exclude the Tongass National Forest from the national roadless rule. The roadless rule protected huge swathes of intact wildlands in Tenakee Inlet that are used and valued by hunters, commercial fishermen, guides, bikers and campers.

Given the Forest Service's history, lack of roadless rule protection would spell disaster for this region of the Tongass. The town of Tenakee Springs has passed no fewer than 60 resolutions opposing new timber sales in Tongass woodlands, but this has not dissuaded the Forest Service from planning sale after sale in our very backyards. Most recently, it has released plans to log Finger Mountain, an area in plain sight of town that is critical habitat for waterfowl, Sitka black-tailed deer and herring. I have no doubt that the departure of the roadless rule will lead to even more sales of precious forest despite the objection of Tongass communities.

If, like me, you want to see America's largest intact temperate rain forest saved for the use and enjoyment by future generations of Alaskans, write to the Forest Service to say that the Tongass needs protection under the Roadless Rule.

Wendy Stern

Tenakee Springs

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