Happy Anniversary, Tongass!

Tongass National Forest & Wilderness

Twenty-five years ago, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council saw successful passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Act. This legislation gave more protection for our largest national forest, including old-growth salmon habitat. Click here to read more by Bart Koehler, who helped lead this effort.

I was fortunate enough to meet these folks in 2013. There were still bumper stickers around Juneau that read “Piss on SEACC”. Loggers and miners had seen environmental protection as a threat to their livelihood. But the people I met supported local, community-based trades, including logging and ferry operators.

Now at the end of an abnormally mild winter, I remember them taking me to the Mendenhall Glacier. (Click to read more.) It had been retreating 170 feet a year for 5 years. I think about the role of forests like the Tongass in slowing climate change by holding carbon and giving oxygen.

And I want to say congratulations, SEACC, on a job well done. This is one person in the lower 48 who appreciates what you’ve done and what you’re doing.

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