Monday, March 5, 2012

The Tongass 77....

There are only so many places left in this world that are factories for fully functioning wild ecoystems and wild fish.

The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is one of them, and we need your help to protect it.

Here's a fantastic description of the Tongass

At nearly 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is our country’s largest and most unique national forest. This magnificent landscape of western hemlock, Sitka spruce, western red cedar and yellow cedar trees is part of the world’s largest remaining intact temperate rain forest – and hosts some of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. The Tongass comprises thousands of mist-covered islands, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers and soggy muskegs that provide ideal habitat for a vast array of wild plant and animal species, including healthy salmon and trout populations. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Tongass includes roughly 17,000 miles of clean, undammed creeks, rivers and lakes that provide optimal spawning and rearing conditions for the region’s copious wild Pacific salmon and trout. Each year, abundant wild salmon runs return from the ocean to Tongass streams to spawn and die. In this process, these fish bring nutrients from the productive North Pacific Ocean to the much less nutrient-rich land. Because Tongass ecosystems are sustained by the annual salmon returns, the Tongass is literally a “salmon forest.”

Trout Unlimited has helped to identify 77 critial watersheads that are open to development in the Tongass that need protection, and namely, protection of streamside buffer zones that are essential to stream quality and their ability to harbor and protect salmon, trout and steelhead.

Tom Bristol, director of TU Alaska has this to say

“The Tongass is America’s salmon forest and one of the few places in the world where wild salmon and trout still thrive. Some 65 percent of Tongass salmon and trout habitat is not Congressionally protected at the watershed scale, and is currently open to development activities that could harm fish. It’s time for Congress to better protect the richest resource of the Tongass: wild salmon.”

It's time to let everyone that know that these area's need protection, NOW.

Logging, sportsman's groups, commercial fishing and other stakeholders all need this area.  They all have stakes in the game.  Lets have this as an example of everyone working together for the collective good of the entire ecoystem.

Join in now to help this project by going to this web site


1 comment:

  1. I am a director of a new non-profit called the Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community. We have a viewpoint different from TU as the Tongass 77 largely depends on giving up the highest quality habitat on Prince of Wales Island. While the Tongass 77 watersheds are not legally protected like Wilderness, many of these areas are not at risk from logging. More details are provided at our website