Obama Administration Approves Logging in Tongass National Forest

This story is part of Treehugger's news archive. Learn more about our news archiving process or read our latest news.
Under proposed rules, logging would be allowed in Tongass National Forest. (Photo: Mark C Brennan [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr)

Not cool, President Obama. Not cool at all.

The Obama administration has approved the sale of timber from the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. The 17-million acre forest is the largest stand of continuous temperate rainforest in the U.S. and contains a lot of old-growth trees. It's basically a snapshot of what the world looked like before we rolled onto the scene.

The U.S. Forest Service gave the green light for the sale after approval from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who stated in May that he would be the final gatekeeper on all decisions to sell timber from roadless ares of the national forests.

This first sale will come after seven miles of roads are built for the 381-acre clear-cut. This makes Hulk mad. Vilsack said the main reason he approved the sale was to provide jobs to the area. Here's a radical idea: Those loggers should get new jobs not involving cutting down old-growth trees.

Jobs should not trump mountains, nor should they trump the last great stand of old-growth temperate rain forest left in this great nation of ours. Instead of spending the millions of dollars the federal government intends to pour into road construction to clear cut the area, how about giving the loggers job buyouts so they can find a new career with some scratch in their pockets?

You can donate money to the NRDC to help the fight to keep Tongass safe if you want to get active with your pocketbook.