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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

No "Young Growth Management" on the Tongass

By Robert W Pickrell


March 25, 2015
Wednesday PM

I have a garden. Whoa... even if you re not into gardens keep reading. I'm going to tell you about something that will change the farming industry and S.E. Alaska! Actually my garden is a mini-park with paths where you walk under the rodys. There are other flowers, rare bushes, inanimate critters,and a unique village. The only edible (my farm) is my raspberry patch. The Secretary of Agriculture of the U.S.A. has proposed a program guaranteeing increased value to my patch and also to the huge crop of timber in S.E. Alaska's Tongass National Forest. So I'm going to transition. After all he is the top farmer in the U.S.A.! Why I didn't think of it before. Actually we must give credit to Washington DC's Environmentalist Think Tanks.

It is The YOUNG GROWTH/OLD GROWTH TIMBER MANAGEMENT PLAN! But it should work for my raspberry crop.

It's so simple: I will harvest about 8% of my plants when they are young (hence young growth ) a month BEFORE the berry's ripen I will then retool, freeze them in a plastic package and dump them because they are virtually worthless, not very saleable and tasteless. Next year I will only harvest from this SAME 8% section of my berry patch and repeat the process yearly, over and over again. What happens to the remaining 92% of my raspberry patch. I will let these old plants grow forever... probably never to be harvested, These lovely plants will be immortal. I will have an OLD GROWTH patch of mostly dead, grey, lifeless stalks, just an illusion of their former tasty greatness but nice to think about and worship. Maybe I will clear-cut a tiny portion of the 92% Old NO Growth someday unless the Secretary of Agriculture tells me that this is unlawful because endangered crawly things in the area will die from exposure.

Laugh? It is not a laughing matter. The Tongass National Forest is about to be put forever into Wilderness status by Obama's Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and his elitist Friends of Everything on the Earth but People (FEEP) foundations and committees. Thinking that Alaskans can be duped by Word Games they have invented two terms called Young Growth and Old Growth. Young Growth means to harvest uneconomical immature timber that is growing back from previous Forest Service clear cut sales. The plan does have one attribute. It recognizes that clear cut harvest methods is the preferred scientific way to renew Alaska's decadent rain forest.

OLD GROWTH is an oxymoron. Nothing grows when it reaches maximum maturity. That's against the Law of Thermodynamics and Atrophy. An OLD forest is suffering from OldNOgrowth. It is barely self sustaining. It is rotting. Only a pseudo scientist moron or pedigreed eckowacko would think up such a term. Výilsack's transition plan to only sell young growth timber also virtually eliminates future sales of OldNOGrowth, which happens to be about 92% of Tongass old Forest. Incidentally Old Growth is another meaningless term dreamed into existence rather recently by green thinking propagandists.

Why this transition plan? Because in 1980, with the passage of ANILCA. preservationists promised to never again ask for any wilderness status lands in Alaska. They have kept to their word and established wilderness by other means: roadless areas, countless EPA regulations, restricting resource development, wetlands, establishing so called endangered species, endless misinformation about Alaska's tough forest and legal actions by liberal judges. Locking the Tongass to resource development has always been their goal. Young Growth management will accomplish this.

Actually it is a done deal. The plan is written and ready to go. The information tour by the Forest Service's self appointed Tongass Advisory Committee is just a sham. They are being used. Vilsack has said get it done! It is done and sitting in a file in Department of Agriculture.. This is Obama's method in all things.

Governor Walker, Senators Murkowski and Sullivan, and Representative Young... The Tongass Forest belongs in Alaska to Alaskans. It is being abused by the Forest Service and their minions who believe it is next door to Washington D.C. Claim the 10th Amendment to the constitution and bring the Tongass back to Alaska. Kill the Young Growth Management Plan!

Robert W Pickrell
Ketchikan, Alaska

About: First time in Alaska: 1949 assistant storekeeper at Waterfall Cannery in S.E. Alaska. Visit to meet Gov. Egan in 59. Here to stay as a citizen of the Land of Opportunity (forget that Last Frontier moniker):1961

Received March 25, 2015 - Published March 25, 2015


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