Today is Blogout Monday for the Tongass National Forest, and because I’m buried, I’m going to suggest the following.
If you’re into salmon in river-packing quantities, then go here and register to learn more about the Tongass — and why it needs protecting.
Or, read this:
“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.”
-Trout Unlimited, Alaska Program Director
If you’re still wondering why we should bother protecting the Tongass, consider this:
Many of the same things that have decimated California’s (and the West Coast’s) salmon runs are being proposed for the Tongass, including hydropower dams, habitat decimation via resource extraction, and more.
Simply put, they’re intent on making the same mistakes that have already been made, which is a passable definition of insanity (repeating the same behavior and expecting a different outcome).
This from the “The Tongass: America’s Salmon Forest” website:
While Tongass wild salmon and trout are currently healthy and abundant, there are a variety of threats that could harm the future productivity of these fish. These threats include several initiatives that would privatize large swathes of the Tongass for development and resource extraction, as well as dozens of hydroelectric dam proposals and new mining activity. Climate change impacts and funding cuts for research programs that guide conservation and restoration efforts are also threats.
The troubling history of the Pacific Northwest and California, where salmon and trout runs have disappeared or face serious declines, foreshadow the types of problems that could be repeated in Southeast Alaska unless government agencies, lawmakers and the public act to make fish habitat conservation and restoration top priorities. In the Tongass, the opportunity still exists to ensure salmon and trout, and the people who depend on them, enjoy a healthier and more stable future than their Pacific Northwest and California kin.
Once again, that link (operators are standing by). Plenty more to come on issues like this (sadly).
Plus some interesting travel plans in store for the Underground. More tomorrow, Tom Chandler.