Target: Sandra Garcia-Aline, Federal Highway Administration Alaska Division
Goal: Halt the planned construction of a dead-end highway through an Alaskan national forest
The state of Alaska and the Federal Highway Administration are planning to cut through the Tongass National Forest to put in a dead-end highway. It will cost over $500 million to tear a path through a beautiful and uninterrupted forest that would end in a ferry terminal. Tongass National Forest contains wetlands, fish habitats, and the homes of multiple endangered and threatened species. Clear-cutting a huge section of the land and putting in a road that would disrupt the land and increase pollution in the area is the last thing such a space needs.
Environmentalists defeated a plan for a similar highway in 2011 due to the Federal Highway Administration’s inadequate analysis of the highway’s environmental impact. Now, the Administration is trying to push a duplicate measure through. Besides its terrible effects on the environment of a national forest that the federal government should be protecting, it will also cut right through avalanche country, meaning the road will be incredibly dangerous for travelers. Plus, the plan calls for the highway to end at an uninhabited delta where they’ll have to build a new and unnecessary ferry terminal.
By signing this petition, you’ll encourage the state of Alaska to reject this expensive, wasteful plan that will be extremely disruptive to an old-growth forest that’s home to many animals in need of our protection. It’s projects like this that have caused species like the bald eagle and the Alexander Archipelago wolf to be threatened with extinction in the first place.
Dear Ms. Garcia-Aline,
I understand that you’re once again trying to push through a plan to build a highway through the Tongass National Forest from Juneau to an uninhabited delta where you will build a new ferry terminal. In order to do this, the state of Alaska will have to clear-cut a path through this currently uninterrupted old-growth forest, disrupting the environment and threatening the many species that live there.
I urge you not to go through with this plan. Multiple endangered species live in this forest, and habitat destruction is one of the main reasons they became threatened in the first place. There’s no reason to build this destructive highway and when an established path from Juneau to Haines and Skagway that doesn’t go through avalanche country already exists. It’s absolutely unacceptable to disrupt a national forest for an unnecessary road that will cost the state over $500 million.
There’s a reason why this plan was defeated back in 2011. It’s bad for the environment, bad for your taxpayers, and even dangerous for anyone who would travel on the highway. Old-growth national forests like Tongass should be protected. They contain fragile ecosystems and are home to threatened eagles and wolves that have already suffered at the hands of human overdevelopment. Please reconsider and drop the plan for the sake of the people and animals that inhabit your state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Henryhartley via Wikimedia Commons