To the editor,

It’s the “season of peace.” I am thinking “peace on earth” and what can we do to “leave the earth better than it was when we found it” or became aware of it. 

The latter is what I was taught as a Scout, and I taught others as a Scouter. I think we are all aware of the importance of trees in our environment. We refer to the Amazon rainforest as the “lungs of the world.” 

We also have a precious rainforest, the Tongass Rainforest on the panhandle of Alaska. It’s our largest national forest, and it includes camping, fishing and hiking – a total of 17 million acres of rainforest. It is the largest intact temperate rainforest on earth. 

Many of us are critical of President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil for allowing the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest. It is the most bio-diverse place on Earth with 56,000 plant species, 1,700 bird species, 695 amphibian species, 578 mammal species and 651 reptile species. 

However, the Trump administration is doing the same thing in our rainforest. There is also considerable opposition to Trump’s proposal from the over 200 southeast Alaskan commercial fishermen, the Alaska tribal governments, the Alaska Wilderness League and many other organizations. 

The name “Tongass” comes from the tribal name “Tinglit,” the American Indians that live in that area of Alaska. 

In the interests of leaving this area better than we found it, I urge you to contact your congressional representatives and ask them to support the Roadless Area Conservation Act (HR 2491) to stop road building in the Tongass National Forest and the harvesting of these ancient trees.

Robert Walz

North Branch

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