Write to Protect Tongass Wild Salmon!
Photo by Ellie Schmidt
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- Choose Alternative 5 of the amendment.
- End old growth logging as soon as possible.The Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment will continue the program of old growth logging at current levels for at least the next 10 to 15 years. This is too long.
- Accelerate the offering of young growth timber and to decrease the amount of old growth timber sales that they prepare.
- Choose an alternative that protects 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.
- Consider the Tongass’ role in combating climate change.
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.
Write to Senator Murkowski about Climate Change
Alaska’s own Senator Murkowski is the Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, making her a very powerful person in determining the future of energy in America. In order to avoid further environmental degredation from the effects of climate change, we need our leaders to support a transition to renewable energy. Tell Senator Murkowski that we need action to address climate change now!
Send this letter, or your own, to her at 709 Hart Senate Building, Washington, D.C. 205010 or through her contact form which can be found here. You can also call her office at 202-224-6665.
Bob Hallinen / ADN
Dear Senator Murkowski,
My name is _____ and I’m a resident of _______.
I am writing to express my deep concern about climate change and the threat it poses to our country, our people, and our economy.
Climate change is wreaking disastrous effects on our nation. In Alaska, Arctic communities are slipping into the sea and melting permafrost is harming critical state infrastructure. Ocean acidification is threatening the way of life of fishermen across the state. In California, residents are experiencing the worst drought in state history, complete with intense wildfires and mandatory water rationing. In Florida, the Everglades and other low-elevation communities are flooding as sea levels continue to rise.
Climate change is affecting our entire country. And it’s only going to get worse.
As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, you are one of the most powerful people in the world when it comes to implementing climate change solutions. You have the power to catalyze renewable energy investments and phase out fossil fuel developments that accelerate climate change.
Senator Murkowski, I’m asking you loud and clear to get off oil and address climate change.
In order to secure a bright future for our nation and our children, we need to reshape our national energy policies and move away from fossil fuels. We need policies that prioritize clean, renewable, and reliable energy systems that do not harm our fellow Americans or the planet. We need to get away from the price volatility, environmental degradation, and corporate control of oil. And we need to do it now.
Transitioning away from an oil-based economy to a regenerative economy is an urgent matter. The science shows that in order to stay under the 2 degrees Celsius of warming that the international community has agreed is an extremely hazardous mark, we need to keep 80% of identified fossil fuel reserves in the ground. If we want a livable climate for generations to come, we cannot be expanding drilling - especially in sensitive regions like the Arctic. We instead need to invest in alternative energy solutions and get on the path towards sustainability.
It’s about time the government listened to the people of the United States instead of just responding to oil corporations that have a vested interested in government. Please show us that you represent your constituents - not foreign oil corporations. Act now to address climate change head on, for the people of Alaska, the United States, and the world.