Senator Murkowski is Playing Politics with the Tongass

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When Senators want to hide their legislation from the public, they will introduce it on Friday afternoons. When they really want to hide something, they'll do it on a Friday afternoon before a 3-day weekend. Senator Murkowski really has something to hide because she introduced a bunch of legislation that plays politics with the Tongass on the Friday afternoon before a beautiful Memorial Day weekend in Southeast Alaska.

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Protect Wild Tongass Salmon!

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The Forest Service is making changes to the Tongass forest plan and needs your help!


What exactly is the Tongass forest plan and why is it important?

The Tongass Land Management Plan is similar to a town or city zoning map for the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest. It designates which lands are available for timber harvests and which lands are off-limits to development, such as Wilderness areas. Right now, the Forest Service is amending the plan and is accepting input from the public.  As an advocacy organization that works to conserve the temperate rainforests of the Tongass, the Sitka Conservation Society has taken an active role in the amendment process. We want you to be involved too. The Forest Service needs to hear from you that you care about protecting salmon, old-growth forests, and wildlife habitat.


How can I show that I support wild Alaskan salmon? What points should I highlight in my letter?

A great place to start is writing your own letter or email to the Forest Service. Emails can be sent to:  We encourage you to write your own unique letter using some of the talking points below. Please consider SCS staff as a resource - if you want to get together to help outline your letter, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


In your letter, encourage the Forest Service to:

  • Adopt Alternative 5 of the amendment but end old growth logging as soon as possible. Fifteen years is too long to continue cutting old growth. 
  • Accelerate the offering of young growth timber and to decrease the amount of old growth timber sales that they prepare. The Forest Service must use the best available science (both ecology and economics science) when developing a young growth timber program.
  • Protect salmon habitat and vital salmon streams. Specifically ask the Forest Service to ensure that Tongass 77 watersheds, Audubon/TNC priority conservation areas, phase 2 and 3 lands, and roadless areas are taken out of the old growth timber pool. Timber harvest should not occur in these areas.
  • Protect wildlife habitat.
  • Do a better job supporting the real economic drivers in Southeast Alaska: tourism and fishing.
  • Actively plan for and manage the Tongass to address the implications of climate change on the natural resources we depend upon for our very livelihoods.

I prefer handwriting. Can I send my letter in via mail?

YES. Absolutely! Use the address below to send in a letter:


Earl Stewart, Tongass Forest Supervisor

Attn: Forest Plan Amendment

648 Mission Street Ketchikan, AK 99901

Submit your comments TODAY! The comment period ends February 22, 2016.


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Save Our Ferries!

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Photo credit: KTOO

The Alaska Marine Highway System is in trouble. Big trouble. Facing a $3 million budget shortfall, the state is looking to cut services to better balance its budget. And our ferries are taking a bit hit.

The state released a proposed ferry schedule for next summer that would cut Sitka's ferry service to only ONE northbound ferry and ONE southbound ferry each week. That's way down from this past summer, where we saw an average of four northbound and four southbound ferries in Sitka each week.

As residents of Southeast Alaska, we depend heavily on the ferry system. Ferries help keep our communities running. They provide our towns with needed goods and supplies, boost our tourism industry, and pump money into our regional economy.  Our ferries connect us. Whether you're a high school athlete traveling to a regional tournament or a homeowner trying to transport building supplies back to Sitka, you depend on the ferry system.

Please take a moment to share why YOU love and depend on the ferry system. Please email TODAY and explain that Sitka needs more frequent ferry service. You can also fax in your written comment at 907-228-6874. The deadline to submit a comment is November 3.

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