Protect the Tongass: Keep Our Public Lands Public


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.

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Showing 68 reactions

  • 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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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
  • Ann Robinson
    commented 2018-03-07 17:10:28 -0900
    Dear Senator Murkowski,

    I understand your desire to bring jobs and livelihoods to your constituents through use of the Tongass. However, I encourage you to strongly reconsider your position. I lived in Kake, Alaska last summer, and saw the legacy of timber harvests across Kupreanof- large swaths of forest cut and barely any healthy new growth, 30 years on. People need a livelihood built on sustainability and cooperation with the natural world, not simply degradation and destruction. Alaskan’s pride ourselves on our state’s iconic beauty- it has become a cultural value in itself- one that should be shared with the world through tourism. Not only that, but the public lands you wish to privatize provide food, cultural value, and recreational opportunities for thousands of Alaskans. This is to say nothing of the inherent value of undisturbed landscapes. PLEASE find it in your heart to value places, people, our world for something other than its ability to exchange for dollars. You may feel it in the best interest of those you represent, but in changing legislation protecting the Tongass you are robbing those you seek to support of a resource unmatched for in its cultural significance, and potential as a tool for education and empowerment. RECONSIDER!!!


    Ann Robinson
  • Dolores Farrell
    commented 2018-03-07 15:36:16 -0900
    The move to repeal the 2016 Tongass plan defies all principles of conservation and preservation!
  • Grace Strong
    commented 2018-03-07 15:16:55 -0900
    Oppose privatization and land trades in the Tonga’s.
  • Ginny Olney Olney
    commented 2018-03-07 14:57:49 -0900
    Senator Murkowski,

    Here we are again with another important subject on our plate. The protection of the Tongass is not just an Alaskan concern. It is a worldwide concern. We are all aware that radioactive water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean at an alarming rate with no end in sight. We are also aware that our own Navy is conducting testing in the Gulf of Alaska which threatens the same Pacific Ocean and the life within and nearby.. We are aware of an island of plastic floating around in that same ocean, dead zones, ocean acidification, and I could go on. But the point is that we here in Alaska must take a stand because these problems will not go away on their own & if we are to survive and thrive on this magnificent earth, there is no time to waste. The Tongass is big, a big source of oxygen and a big carbon remover.. Please protect our Tongass with its awesome , unparalleled old growth trees. They have a job to do and you have a job to do. Our lives depend on them and you.

    Thank-you. Please protect and listen to your Alaskan constituents, including the ones who are too young to write you but who breathe to live. Ginny Olney SITKA
  • Lynn Wilbur
    commented 2018-03-07 14:48:19 -0900
    Your wish to privatize our forest land is not shared by Alaskans. You need to get back on track and recognize that you work for us, not for corporations.
  • Lynn Wilbur
    commented 2018-03-07 12:19:51 -0900
    The people of Alaska have spoken, we value the roadless rule and the protection of old growth in the Tongass. Southeast Alaskans have overwhelmingly showed their support for local businesses and small mill operators over clear-cutting to the benefit of overseas corporations. You are out of touch with your constituency, and you’d better get back on track.

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