In part two of “Trouble in the Tongass” I speak with Andrew Thoms, Executive Director of the Sitka Conservation Society. We discuss all of the things that make the Tongass special, the local economy of Southeast Alaska, the Roadless Rule, the consequences of logging the remaining old growth forests and the threats to subsistence living.
The old growth forests of the Tongass sustain more than can be properly articulated and expressed in this short miniseries. Their value is priceless. As ecosystems collapse around the globe, we cannot afford to continue on our current path of destruction. The familiar forces of greed and shortsightedness are at work. The Tongass belongs to all of us, not the select few multi-national corporations that seek to capitalize on its lumber. Not to mention that rights that we have failed to properly extend to the plants and animals that which we share the Earth. The biota of the Tongass is world-renowned and worth saving on its own merit.
The Roadless Rule is the glue that is keeping the Tongass ecosystem intact while providing flexibility to construct roads for communities and allowing native and local peoples to harvest food from the land and rivers. Ideally, wilderness designations would best protect these forests from logging interests, but wide scale implementation would work against the sustenance needs of local communities.
The draft environmental impact statement has been released regarding the Roadless Rule Please, take a moment from your busy day and write in your comments to the USDA. Tell them to keep the Roadless Rule in place for the Tongass National Forest (alternative one). The email address is email@example.com Alternatively, please use Sitka Conservation Society's commenting tool here https://mobilize4change.org/q4Unptv
USDA Draft EIS can be found here. https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2019/10/15/usda-forest-service-seeks-public-comment-draft-environmental-impact
If you have not checked out part one of this series with Dan Cannon from the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, I encourage you to have a listen for a more complete picture of what is happening in the Tongass. Thanks for listening.