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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Sealaska's Logged Off Heritage

By Joe Sebastian


January 11, 2016
Monday PM

Last fall in Petersburg, Alaska's newest enviromental group ' The Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community' [] gave a slideshow on the latest industrial logging now taking place on Sealaska land, state land, and other land grant interests.Images from Google-earth satillight overviews were used of Sealaska mega-clearcuts on the Cleveland Penensula, and also P.O.W.'s Election Creek, and other examples made the truth crystal clear. The all-out push by Senator Lisa Murkowski to privatize land from the Tongass National Forest, in order to rapidly de-forest and export round logs as fast as possible, was shocking and upsetting and holds dire consequences for the future of Alaskans.

The aerial photos of miles-long clearcuts covering entire mountains looked like a war zone of stumps and slash on a vast landscape. It gave one the feeling that Sealaska was murdering the very earth itself. This is not forestry -- not at all. This is a diabolical crime against life and nature. This kind of scorched earth logging represents the most debased greed, selfish thoughtlessness and the lowest capabilities of human nature. Worse yet, this kind of mega-death logging by native corperations has been taking place for the last 30 years or more. Moreover, this crime is sanctioned and approved by Alaska's State Forester, Senators, and Governor.The whole system is corrupt and rotten to the core.

Oh sure, over time some sort of spindly mono-culture devoid of insects and animals that make up a living forest will replace this crime now carved into the dirt. But it will be a poor substitute for the lush, timeless forests that were destroyed. People should understand that there is no future in these mega-clearcuts of death currently happening in the Tongass.

Alaskans have an economy that depends on a healthy, living forest for fishing, tourism, subsistence, and the kinds of sustainable forestry that fits in with the region's already existing user-groups. Thus, in light of our region's needs, Sealaska has shamed themselves, they have shamed us all.

Joe Sebastian
Kupreanof, Alaska

About:"Commercial Fisherman in AK for 38 years"

Received January 05, 2016 - Published January 11, 2015



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