I was thrilled to read the Op-Ed opposing the exemption of the Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. The authors are keenly aware of the real values of our National Forests — values that cannot be measured in board feet.
As a lifetime Washingtonian, I remember when clear cuts were commonplace. Drive into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Okanogan-Wenatchee and Olympic National Forests and you can see the scars.
The Roadless Rule protects more than 58 million acres of public lands, including 9 million in the Tongass and more than 2 million in Washington. In essence, the rule requires the last remaining intact parcels of public lands should remain that way. Exempting the Tongass from the Roadless Rule would cut 800-year-old trees in part of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, jeopardize salmon spawning streams and disrupt some of the last wildest places in the United States, just to prop up a pair of struggling timber mills.
We need more protections for the Tongass and all of our National Forests, not less.
Nete Olsen, Seattle