SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Forest Service Roads
By Mike Moyer


February 03, 2008

We need to remind the U.S. Forest Service that when the people of the Territory of Alaska made the decision to become the State of Alaska the Federal Government agreed with us to maintain cabins in the Tongass National Forest for the use of Alaskans in their traditional use of their surrounding wilderness. Now the Feds are slowly and quietly closing cabins and tearing them down because they say they can't afford to deal with their maintenance. They are violating a promise made to the people of Alaska.

They have also built roads in the forest that were constructed for the extraction of logs after timber sales. To the Forest Service the life of these roads is over once the timber has been harvested and the logs yarded out of the woods. These folks need to understand that Alaskans use these new trails as a means to harvest more than timber. Once the roads have been built the Forest Service has provided a means to access game, fish and berries. To remove that access indicates disrespect for the communities they have been sent to Alaska to serve.

To close the roads we use to improve our quality of life is just another way the Feds will use to try and keep us out of our own forest. It's okay to plow down the muskeg and blast out rock pits, lay down log cribs and miles of shot rock in order to allow a cigar smoking timber baron access to logs, but when it's all done, and the money has been made, the little Alaskan who wants to take his family out on their ATV to collect summer berries will have to watch that same road lay fallow because he doesn't really count in the big picture. What a great message to send to the people of Alaska.

Mike Moyer
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 01, 2008 - Published February 03, 2008


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