Protect the Tongass National Forest

  • by: Sierra Club
  • recipient: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Located in the southeastern panhandle of Alaska, the Tongass National Forest is the largest remaining old-growth temperate rainforest on Earth. A lush landscape formed thousands of years ago by glaciers, where 500-year-old trees tower 250 feet overhead. Most Americans don't even know it exists...but the timber industry does.

In fact, a Ketchikan lumber mill applied and was granted access to clear-cut 381 acres in one of the Tongass' pristine roadless areas. And more timber sales targeting Tongass roadless areas are just around the corner, unless the Obama Administration takes immediate action.

Ask the Obama Administration to uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which would finally protect pristine areas of the Tongass and other irreplaceable national forests.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,

I'm writing to urge you to uphold President Obama's pledge to support the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, including protections for the Tongass National Forest. As you know, roadless areas provide significant wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, flood control and public recreation opportunities. As we face unprecedented threats from climate change, roadless areas also stand to play a critical role in absorbing global warming emissions.

As the largest temperate rainforest left in the world and the wildest of our national forests, the Tongass National Forest perfectly exemplifies the values of roadless areas. However, since 2003 the Tongass' roadless areas have had no protections, and its natural values that support recreation, the tourism industry and wildlife are at risk as a result.

I ask you to reject all current or future state-based roadless plans and instead maintain President Obama's commitment to upholding the 2001 Roadless Rule. The wildest and best areas of our national forests, including the Tongass, need your help.

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