Save Alaska’s Tongass National Forest from Clear Cut Loggers

Target: Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture

Goal: To prevent the largest private land owner in Southeast Alaska from logging the Tongass National Forest.

With immense natural resources and important ecosystems, Alaska is known as the US state which is constantly under attack by corporations. From attempting to drill in the Arctic Tundra to the overexploitation of its fisheries, Alaska’s beauty is both its savior and its vice. Now, the Tongass National Forest—the largest of its kind in the United States—could fall to loggers.

Tongass is often described as the “crown jewel” of America’s forests, and with good reason. This national forest contains one third of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems, a unique type of environment which only covers three percent of the world today. The majority of the Tongass is old growth forest, meaning that the ecosystem has been untouched for long periods of time. Tongass is home to salmon, bald eagles and grizzly bears, and is known for its majestic beauty.

Sealaska, the largest private land owner in Southeast Alaska, now wishes to encroach upon the Tongass by logging. It is estimated that clear cut logging will increase by twelve times if the bill is passed. Sealaska has already received nearly 300,000 acres from past legislation.

The Tongass has already had nearly half of its very large old growth trees cut down due to a process known as high-grading—where loggers remove the oldest and largest trees from the forest. These trees are often essential to the ecosystem, simply because they are so large and provide vital habitats for woodland creatures. It is believed that the Sealaska bill would actually mandate this controversial process. Reaching the trees in the first place will often mean creating roads, and polluting forest areas that are en route to the giant trees.

Native Alaskans can also be threatened by the new bill. Various parcels of land, including fishing areas and anchorage sites, would be taken away in order to be exploited by Sealaska.

Tongass is one of the few nearly untouched forests in the United States. Speak up and prevent the crown jewel of America’s forests from being exploited.

Dear Mr. Tom Vilsack,

The Sealaska bill has dangerous consequences for Tongass National Forest. This national forest contains one third of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems, a unique type of environment which only covers three percent of the world today. Among other important creatures, the Tongass is also home to large populations of the bald eagle.

Allowing Sealaska to receive even more land from the Tongass (they have already been granted nearly three hundred thousand acres in past legislation) will cause the most important trees to be virtually destroyed. High-grading, the process of taking the largest and oldest trees in the forest, will result in the destruction of important habitat centers for local animals. This doesn’t count the pollution and deforestation that will result from loggers trying to reach these trees, often located in the center of the forest.

Native Alaskans can also be threatened by the new bill. Various parcels of land, including fishing areas and anchorage sites, would be taken away in order to be exploited by Sealaska.

Tongass is one of the few nearly untouched forests in the United States. Please preserve the crown jewel of America’s forests by rejecting Sealaska’s proposals.

Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]

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