Re: “Washington wineries work to weather the challenges of climate change” [Nov. 7, Pacific NW Magazine] and “Biden officials to propose road ban on more than half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest” [Nov. 18, Environment]:
When the flavor profile of our favorite local wine goes from oaky to smoky, we know there’s an issue. It’s no secret that these massive heat waves are due to the effects of climate change. But what you might not realize is the root of the problem is not far from our region.
About 1,700 miles north of Seattle is North America’s largest temperate rainforest. Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is a massive network of old growth that has the capability to absorb at least 8% of the carbon stored in the entire Lower 48 states’ forests combined. In recent years, protections — known as the roadless rule — that were prohibiting clear cuts in a vast majority of the forest were revoked, allowing timber companies access to 9.4 million acres of the Pacific Northwest’s best chance at mitigating climate change. We must urge the Biden administration to reinstate protections in the Tongass so we can continue to enjoy fresh air and delicious Washington wines.
What’s good for the grape vine is good for all of us. Join Pacific Northwesterners during the 60-day comment period that began Nov. 23 to help reinstate the roadless rule.
Emma Ward, Seattle