The Tongass National Forest sign stands near the Auke Village Recreation Area. (Juneau Empire File)

The Tongass National Forest sign stands near the Auke Village Recreation Area. (Juneau Empire File)

Opnion: Breathe Deep for Forest Service’s ‘crown jewel’ and say, ‘No Action on Roadless Rule’

The Tongass is one of the last remaining intact temperate rainforests producing an oxygen-rich, healthy environment countering Earth’s record high Carbon Dioxide atmosphere. Tongass is in the top 10 largest rainforests on Earth and is Alaska’s largest National Forest spanning 17 million acres of land. Amazon deforestation has reached its highest surge and could easily reach the tipping point dieback. Preserve the Tongass.

Compounds derived from rainforests produce numerous medicines supplying a majority of people. The Tongass provides oxygen for all of us to breathe and belongs to the trees, plants, animals, fish the indigenous people, Alaska Tribes: Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian people, and everyone and everything who calls it home, those who visit, and the U.S. Avoid potential pandemics from unknown deadly diseases being transported from deforestation of irreplaceable old growth.

National Geographic July 2007 article entitled “Alaska’s Great Rain Forest” featured centerfold photograph of LaVern Beier in “The Truth about Tongass.” Here we are again in Alaska over 12 years later fighting over what rightfully belongs to the people.

Hang in there if you’re looking for life beyond Earth or hoping to live on Mars. Breathe deep — you can’t hold your breath forever. If you value life on Earth, and those who want to breathe clean air, you’ll value the future of the Tongass.


Houston, Texas

• Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.

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