The Tongass National Forest, known as "America's rainforest," is a land where huge bears grow fat on salmon, eagles soar the endless skies, and 500-year-old trees stand silent sentry over a rich and verdant world. However, the future of the Tongass National Forest is a puzzle awaiting completion.
We all know that the forest's ecosystem is intricately balanced between salmon, bears and old-growth trees - but the network of human interests is just as complex. Conservationists, fishermen, Native groups, lumberjacks, and town governments - all depend on the forest's ecosystem for their livelihoods as well.
A historic thing is happening in the Tongass right now as these groups put decades of conflict on hold to come to the table and try to fit all the pieces together, knowing that a sustainable vision of the forest awaits at the end.
But the Sealaska Corporation, having profited from years of clearcutting, is trying to force its piece of the puzzle where it doesn't belong. The U.S. Senate is preparing to discard the keystone of conservation and authorize Sealaska to clearcut public lands in the Tongass. The "Sealaska bill" will only perpetuate conflict in the Tongass, razing old-growth along the way. Tell your Senators to stop this bill now!
Photo copyright Mark Linneman/Greenpeace