Monday, November 2, 2020

Alaska Under Attack - Again


Once again, Alaska is under attack. This time it is the incredibly important Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska. It is the world's largest intact temperate rainforest, known as America's Amazon. Effective this week, the Federal government will be lifting decades old protections and will allow logging companies to build roads and cut and remove ancient growth timber, some as old as 1,000 years.  

This vitally important area covers 9.3 million acres of forest, and is home to bear, eagle, and salmon. This huge and ecologically vital area is said to absorb at least 8% of all the carbon stored in ALL the forests in the lower 48. Experts say that rainforests are the "lungs" of the planet, and the Tongass is the lungs of North America, according to the Washington Post. It has been called "America's last climate sanctuary." 

At this time, major legal challenges are being mounted by environmental groups, and I certainly hope they succeed. According to experts interviewed by the Post, there is no strong economic reason for logging, nor is there a compelling biological or cultural benefit. This move by the Federal government and logging companies puts many things at risk. All 5 of Alaska's native tribal nations are opposed to this land grab. It will jeopardize even further the deteriorating environmental devastation Alaska is experiencing from global warming, plus other moves by the Federal government to lease Alaska lands for private business interests. These moves will negatively impact migratory animals and their habitat, put native tribal Alaskans at risk, and speed the destruction of our last great frontier.

I encourage you to get more information on all the environmental issues putting Alaska at risk. As you know, Alaska is one of my favorite places. I love the land, the people, and the animals who thrive there.

The photos above were taken in the Tongass National Forest in the summer of 2019. It is a huge, vibrant, and magical place.

TECH SPECS  1/1600 sec at f/7.1, ISO 800. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens on Canon 7D Mark II body. Handheld.

TODAYS QUOTE: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;  indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  -- Margaret Mead

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