Today the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released a draft Record of Decision proposing the largest old-growth logging project in the nation in decades. The proposal would log up to 235 million board feet of mostly old-growth forest over 15 years. In 2016, the USFS committed to a transition out of old-growth logging and away from uneconomical and destructive timber sales like this proposal.
Defenders of Wildlife Senior Alaska Representative, Pat Lavin, issued the following statement:
“The U.S. Forest Service committed to transition away from logging old-growth on the Tongass realizing that there is no economic future in clearcutting this magnificent forest. More taxpayer-subsidized logging won’t create many jobs but will threaten wildlife such as the Alexander Archipelago wolf, Sitka black-tailed deer, northern flying squirrel and many other old-growth dependent species.
“The Forest Service is proposing a return to the destructive industrial-scale clear-cut logging history on the Tongass – a history from which the region has moved on. The Forest Service should be leading rather than impeding the economic transition in southeast Alaska – restoring wildlife habitat and watersheds and supporting the sustainable economy of fishing and tourism, not unsustainable old-growth logging.”