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.
Senator Murkowski's bills
would privatize hundreds of thousands of acres of Tongass public lands that would almost inevitably be completely clear-cut again. She has betrayed Alaskans by delaying the new Tongass Land Management Plan which finally transitions the Tongass away from old growth timber harvest by inserting non-pertinent Tongass language into a critical fire-fighting bill
.She has also introduced a bill
that would use taxpayer money to buy Admiralty Island land from a corporation whose logging practices are an example of the worst logging excesses of the 1980's. Public lands across the Tongass are threatened by these bills and your voice needs to be heard. You can help by calling the Senator's offices and telling them that this legislation needs to be stopped. The best thing you can do is to call the Senator Murkowski's office directly in Washington or here in Alaska and tell them that you are disappointed with her legislation. If you have connections to Washington State or Oregon, you can also call Senator Cantwell and Senator Wyden's offices. They are on the committee with Senator Murkowski that is considering this legislation. Also, please tell your friends and recruit them to make calls.
Senator Murkowski's Washington DC office number is: (202)-224-6665
Anchorage toll-free number 1-(877)-829-6030
Senator Cantwell from Washington State: (202) 224-3441
Senator Wyden from Oregon: (202) 224-5244
Here are some things that you can tell them:
- Senator Murkowski efforts to derail the Tongass Land Management Plan amendment do not belong in a bill to fix wildfire funding. Senator Murkowski is pulling the Tongass back into conflict and more old growth logging. Ask that any reference to the Tongass Forest Plan Amendment be removed from the Wildfire Budgeting, Response and Forest Management Act.
- The legislation would privatize thousands of acres of Tongass old growth for timber harvest. The selection of the land to be given to new corporations is happening in secret and includes high-value salmon watersheds and ecologically critical stands of old growth temperate rainforests. Tell her you oppose any efforts to transfer Tongass public lands to private corporations.
- To Senator Wyden and Senator Cantwell: Senator Murkowski is interfering with management and protection of the Tongass National Forest. We need you stand up to her in the Senate Energy and Natural committee to protect old growth forests and salmon in Alaska. Commercial fisherman who call Washington home, depend on strong salmon runs which may be in jeopardy if large tracts of old growth are privatized.
Please make phone calls to these Senate offices TODAY! It will only take a moment but it is critically important to keep the Tongass intact! Thank you for helping us protect the Tongass,
Andrew Thoms, Executive Director
Sitka Conservation Society