Tongass Conservation Strategies
The Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP) is the primary document used to manage public lands in Southeast Alaska. A draft for the 2008 version of TLMP was recently released and is currently out for comment.
A coalition of conservation groups (Southeast Alaska Conservation Society, Sitka Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Alaska, Trout Unlimited, The Wilderness Society, Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League) is in the process of developing an alternate conservation strategy.
SEAWEAD naturalists Richard Carstensen and Bob Christensen recently wrote an independent opinion piece that compares and critiques these conservation strategies. The document covers a wide array of issues important to understanding the delicate balance between economic development and ecological integrity in Southeast Alaska. Although this document is not an official SEAWEAD report, we provide a link here for interested parties and encourage all who are up for digging a little deeper into Tongass conservation to check it out. The cover letter for this report follows...
We’ve just completed an essay on the implications of Phase 1 logging under the draft 2008 TLMP. Thanks to 5 months of input from friends in conservation, numerous meetings, discussions, and critical reviews, the essay grew from its origins as a half-page sidebar in a November report into a lavishly illustrated 29-page analysis.
While many places high on the conservation-priority list have been deferred until Phases 2 and 3, we’re very concerned that TLMP Phase 1 immediately endangers some of the most important watersheds on the Tongass.
A coalition of conservation groups -- Southeast Alaska Conservation Society, Sitka Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Alaska, Trout Unlimited, The Wilderness Society, Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Wilderness League -- is in the process of developing an alternate conservation strategy. We consider this strategy an excellent foundation for Southeast conservation that just needs a few adjustments to better care for what we call the Productive Fragmented Watersheds. We see our essay as a contribution to that evolving strategy.
The essay is a fairly large (15-meg) Acrobat pdf. You can download it from http://www.seawead.org/images_documents/documents/GT/tlmp-tcc-assessment.pdf
(If you have a slow internet connection and want a low-res version, email us and we’ll provide one.)
We’d like to admit up front that our opinions could be skewed by a misunderstanding of existing data, management policy, conservation goals, economics, etc. Feedback from any and all quarters is valuable to us. Our goal is to come to as mutual an understanding of reality as possible. Regardless of our personal values and ideals, we strongly believe in actively participating in a dialogue that seeks to build bridges, not walls. The best way to get there is to start with common ground and agreement on the accuracy of information we have to guide our policy decisions. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.
Please pass this essay around to anyone you think might be interested. And let us know what you think. Send comments to Richard .
Richard Carstensen and Bob Christensen