North America’s coastal temperate rainforest at one time extended over 60 million acres from California to Alaska, but much of it has been irreversibly altered by logging and development. The remaining ancient forests that blanket our region’s coastline are the nurseries for our salmon and orca who depend on them, world-class destinations for recreation and tourism and home to communities that extend back centuries.
These are our rainforests of home. While it’s easy to feel helpless as we watch the Amazon rainforest diminish in size every year, we are witnessing these same threats in our own backyard. In Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, a proposal would allow new road construction and ill-advised logging that would rip apart the fabric of the ecosystem. We need to uphold the integrity of the Roadless Rule that protects 9 million acres of intact roadless areas on the Tongass; we need to reject the Trump administration’s proposal to open these remaining stands of ancient forest to development and resource extraction that will impact the landscape for centuries.
Rainforest protection begins here in our region.
Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest stewardship director, American Whitewater