Umpqua Watersheds Blog

UW Blogs

Tongass Roadless Rule (Urgent)

Published December 6th, 2019 in UW Blogs

 The preferred alternative to change the 2001 Roadless Rule is way too extreme for the Tongass National Forest, where 70% of the old growth forest was removed between 1954 and 1990. It would take 300 years for many of these cut over areas to become the forests they once were with an overstory of spruce, hemlock and cedar. The devastation of past clearcutting practices and road construction is depleting the older forests. How much more rock is available to pound into the boggy ground to firm up all the new roads in order to support the off-highway loads to transport the logs down to the sea, where they will be assembled into rafts for delivery to the mills or made available to the export market? This is the last temperate rain forest in the world that is sequestering carbon dioxide. A world that is being altered by a warming climate, as evident along the Arctic coast of Alaska where native villages are eroding away and the permafrost is melting. Alaska today is very dependent on tourism and commercial fishing, which makes up 25% of the economy. Logging only makes up 1% of the economy. Is it worth risking one of the last great salmon fishery habitats by putting more sediment into the streams and altering the landscape of many watersheds? This preferred alternative will only produce a short term economical gain and a long term ecological disaster. Let’s consider more thinning alternatives to help restore the cut-over areas of the past and utilize existing roads.


more info:

Please make written comments by 12/16/19 to:

USDA Forest Service

Attn: Alaska Road Rule

P.O. Box 21628

Juneau, Alaska 99802



Submitted by Mike Burke



Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)