Protect the Tongass: Keep Our Public Lands Public

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The Tongass National Forest is our home.

The public lands of the Tongass are important for all Americans, but theyre essential for those of us who live here. This is where our families hunt, fish, gather food, and work on the land in ways that just aren't possible anywhere else in the country.

But Senator Murkowski wants to privatize it.

Senator Murkowski has introduced a suite of devastating bills that would:

  • Roll back the 2016 Tongass Plan Amendment and ramp up old growth clearcut logging in our forests;
  • Repeal the Roadless Rule in Alaska. This would put intact stands of important old growth habitat at risk of clearcutting, threaten crucial salmon and wildlife habitat, and burden taxpayers with the exorbitant cost of roadbuilding in these remote areas;
  • Require the government to buy back degraded lands from corporations that clearcut the forest;
  • Require the Forest Service to trade worthless gravel and rock beneath clearcut land for pristine forests with high value timber and very high value rare-earth metal mining rights;
  • Bypass the normal process of appraisal and result in a major loss for taxpayers and the American public;
  • Privatize thousands of acres of the Tongass National Forest.

Your voice matters!

Write to your senator below. We'll deliver your words straight to Washington, D.C.

If you want to submit your letter to your local newspaper, let us know! We can help you hone your argument and get your words published.


Showing 74 reactions

  • Naomi Love
    commented 2019-09-26 10:29:33 -0800
    Dear Senator.


    I live in SE Alaska, where our lives are inextricably intertwined with the Tongass forest. I am a teacher at an alternative school, where most of our students come from a history of ongoing trauma. Every week, sometimes every day, we try to get them outside, and I watch how the forest changes them and heals them.


    The Tongass has sustained 3 different Alaska Native people groups for thousands of years. Today it supports wild salmon and the tourist industry, employing thousands of people in the region. When residents talk about the weekend here, they always seem to take place in the forest. Weddings, birthdays, memorials, hikes, wildlife watching, and more. Our lives are lived in the forest.


    Even people that have never heard of the Tongass benefit from it. Our carbon stores are among the densest in the world. We help to mitigate carbon expenditures across the globe.


    I was deeply dismayed to hear that you are proposing to weaken our protections. Please reconsider. Please be a voice for the people of southeast Alaska, and for people all over the world, protecting something that has been for thousands of years, not a voice for those that would destroy it for a quick buck.


    thank you,

    Naomi Love

    YDHS teacher

    Juneau, Alaska
  • thomas johnston
    commented 2019-09-24 10:57:23 -0800
    I am writing to you as a concerned American citizen. My concern’s stem from how the U.S. Forest Service plans to go forward with the clear cutting of one of our last precious parcels of old growth forest in the world, without a well thought out plan, or any plan at all for that matter, except to sell it off to the highest bidder. To say that I am disappointed is a colossal understatement. Shame on your agency for going along with this fools errand at the behest of someone who has probably never taken a walk in the woods in their life!

    I am aware that the Forest Service is responsible for managing the forest, but this is not “caring for the land and/or serving the people”. Please tell me one person, other than someone that stands to make a lot of money from this action, that this is “serving”? No one, without an agenda, wants this beautiful forest clear cut. Please do not stand idly by while this travesty is at your doorstep, so our kids and their kids will have this magical place in the future.
  • Don Drury
    commented 2019-09-05 12:36:24 -0800
    Please do not rescind the USFS Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-08-30 19:01:14 -0800
    The Amazon is the earth’s lungs in the South, the Tongass are the lungs of the North. Unique and protected creatures seldom found anywhere else in North America inhabit the thousands of islands along the Alaska coast. Five species of salmon, brown and black bears, and bald eagles abound throughout the forest. Other terrestrial animals include wolves, mountain goats, ravens, and sitka black-tailed deer. Many migratory birds spend summer months nesting among the archipelago, notably the Arctic tern. Orca and humpback whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, river otters, and porpoises swim offshore. The Tongass is also home to steelhead and salmon. The Tongass is home to some of the oldest trees in North America over 1,000 years old. These lands are sacred. Protect these sacred forests! Humans have no right to destroy this rainforest.
  • Anonymous
    commented 2019-08-30 06:38:43 -0800
    This place represents to all beauties of USA.
  • Jennifer Fuchsel
    commented 2019-08-27 16:33:47 -0800
    I urge you to consider the long term effects of logging, mining, and building in the Tongass. Its preservation is vital for so many species of plants and animals including the wild salmon population. Please oppose any efforts to roll back “roadless rule” enacted during the Clinton administration. We instead need to focus on ways to better manage and utilize the land we have for logging, mining, and energy. It has been said that our National Parks are America’s best idea so then it would make their destruction America’s worst idea. Tourists come from all over the world to see and explore the natural beauty that we have thoughtful set aside for preservation. Please stand with the other great leaders of the past who stood to protect this land and preserve it from development and destruction.
  • Jacob Richards
    commented 2018-12-29 18:01:10 -0900
    I believe it is important for the Tongass wilderness be protected not be used for explotation. We need to insure its survival as it is our national treasure for the state of Alsaka.
  • Joyce Halter
    commented 2018-10-14 15:53:39 -0800
  • john crawford
    commented 2018-09-15 06:27:16 -0800
    Senator,

    You must not privatize the public lands in the Tongass and open them to logging. It is a short sited decision that is morally incorrect and is going to have devastating effects on the ecology and landscape of the Tongass. Clear cutting causes land slides, especially in places that receive as much rain as the Tongass. Please back away from the Tongass and leave it public. Have conscience please and do the right thing, leave the Tongass public and do not open it to logging.


    Sincerely,


    John Crawford
  • Tori Hillenbrand
    commented 2018-09-11 16:46:34 -0800
  • Marian Ahler
    commented 2018-08-05 07:46:36 -0800
  • Henry Westmoreland
    commented 2018-07-17 04:00:31 -0800
    Please oppose any attempt to privatize parts of the Tongass National Forest. Reinstate the Roadless Rule to protect remaining old growth forest, habitat for salmon, eagle and other wildlife. Insist on accurate appraisal of any non-old growth timber that is cut without clearcutting. Do not allow this irreplaceable resource, one of only five remaining old growth temperate rainforests on earth, to be sold off at a loss. The loss would be far more than the taxpayers’ money.
  • Jennifer Dever
    commented 2018-03-22 15:21:41 -0800
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    I emplore you to reconsider this plan to privatize the Tongass Forest and repeal the Roadless Rule – this would be a terrible mistake. Please save this highly sensitive ecosystem from the perils of habitat destruction that are certain to follow these changes. This forest best serves the long-term needs of Alaska and he United States as an in-tact, preserved forest. Don’t be shortsighted. Don’t rob the future children of this unique resource!

    Kind Regards,

    Jennifer Dever

    Concerned citizen of the USA
  • Jennifer Dever
    commented 2018-03-22 15:21:40 -0800
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    I emplore you to reconsider this plan to privatize the Tongass Forest and repeal the Roadless Rule – this would be a terrible mistake. Please save this highly sensitive ecosystem from the perils of habitat destruction that are certain to follow these changes. This forest best serves the long-term needs of Alaska and he United States as an in-tact, preserved forest. Don’t be shortsighted. Don’t rob the future children of this unique resource!

    Kind Regards,

    Jennifer Dever

    Concerned citizen of the USA
  • Sherry Bottoms
    commented 2018-03-21 19:19:14 -0800
    Dear Lisa, We really need to leave these trees for future generations to see the beauty of this place and to protect the salmon runs. Yours truly, Sherry
  • Jacob Serka
    commented 2018-03-16 12:26:18 -0800
    What happens when the future generations don’t get the chance to indulge in alaska heritage? After all our surroundings and wildlife define us as a state. I’m 16yrs of age and I do not want to see our Alaskan salmon being mistreated in our home. I’ve been fishing ever since I can remember and it would kill me if I wasn’t able to catch Wild Alaskan salmon. Pls rethink this situation, for the sake of me and my fellow Alaskans. Thank you.
  • Pearl Mast
    commented 2018-03-12 10:44:53 -0800
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    My husband and I live in Arizona, but we have made repeated trips to the magnificent waterways of the Tongass National Forest in coastal Southeast Alaska.


    We have spent a lot of money on these trips to SE Alaska, and virtually all that money was spent on Alaska-owned transportation companies, and in the communities of SE Alaska.


    Therefore we were dumbfounded to learn that Alaska’s own senator would be proposing the further degradation of the forests of Tongass National Forest by allowing increased privatization of the Tongass, and increased clearcutting at taxpayer expense.


    This cannot be in the long-term interest of the citizens of SE Alaska, who depend heavily on tourist money. I can certainly say that the further trips we were already planning to SE Alaska would be affected by this kind of short-sighted activity.


    Please reconsider.


    Thanks,

    Pearl Mast
  • Robert Pollitto
    commented 2018-03-11 17:01:41 -0800
    Protect the Tongass from logging.
  • Nancy Pollitto
    commented 2018-03-11 17:00:53 -0800
    Protect the Tongass from logging.
  • Noel Stoll
    commented 2018-03-11 16:59:51 -0800
    Protect the Tongass from logging.
  • Daurie Pollitto
    followed this page 2018-03-11 16:58:53 -0800
  • Daurie Pollitto
    commented 2018-03-11 16:58:36 -0800
    Protect the Tongass from logging.
  • Daurie Pollitto
    commented 2018-03-11 16:57:05 -0800
    Protect the Tongass, all public lands, and national forests from logging and from corrupt government deals.
  • Abe Levy
    commented 2018-03-11 08:36:27 -0800
    Please stop any effort to damage any existing wilderness in Alaska on federal lands which do not currently allow that. I will never visit Alaska again (after 4 trips so far) if this bill is passed or any damage done to the ANWR. My wife is a travel agent and has committed to stop sending any clients to Alaska if any damage is done to the Tongass NF or ANWR.
  • Charles Bingham
    posted about this on Facebook 2018-03-08 23:29:44 -0900
    Protect the Tongass
  • Charles Bingham
    @cwbingham3 tweeted link to this page. 2018-03-08 23:29:39 -0900
  • Charles Bingham
    commented 2018-03-08 23:29:25 -0900
    We need to stop old-growth logging, while we still have old-growth timber. The 2006 Tongass Transition Plan focuses on second-growth timber, while protecting salmon and deer habitat, supporting local economies (timber is processed in Alaska instead of sent overseas for processing), and is better for the environment. This plan was negotiated by just about all of the stakeholders, and you guys keep circumventing it.
  • Joan McBeen
    commented 2018-03-08 10:30:48 -0900
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    Please do the right thing for the Tongass and withdraw your amendments to the budget bill which would severely affect your constituents in Southeast Alaska. We depend on this magnificent land for our physical and emotional nourishment and need to protect one of the few old growth forests in America.

    Sincerely,

    Joan McBeen

    PO Box 23

    Tenakee Springs, AK 99841.
  • David Davidson
    commented 2018-03-08 04:04:29 -0900
    What are you crazy? This is the 21st century and time to stop all this development nonsense, otherwise the environment won’t be able to support people. Use your head and stop trying to tear down what is already protected. Stop this madness.
  • Blake LaPerriere
    commented 2018-03-07 18:40:38 -0900
    Dear Senator Murkowski,


    I am sixteen years old and I live in Sitka, Alaska. My family puts a huge priority in subsistence living and most of the protein I’ve ever eaten is from the forest and the surrounding waters.


    I have spent so much time in old growth forest. It has helped shape who I am and it is incredibly important to me to see this forest preserved. I want my children and grandchildren to experience old growth forest.


    I am wholly opposed to any rollbacks to Tongass preservation. I am also wholly opposed to Tongass land privatization. I want to see this amazing forest to stay untouched for generations. I am sure that Tongass land privatization and rollbacks of preservation measures will not help the Tongass.


    Think about the legacy that you will be leaving. Do you want our kids and grandkids to like you for preserving the Tongass or despise you for promoting logging?


    Furthermore, my generation is going to be of voting age soon, and we don’t like logging. We go for preservation. We won’t vote for pro-logging Senators and Representatives and they will not stay in power.


    Please consider my thoughts. Reconsider your views on this issue.


    Thank you. Blake LaPerriere

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