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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Scorched earth logging

By Joseph Sebastian


December 22, 2015
Tuesday AM

Last November in Petersburg, Alaska's newest environmental group, "The Greater Southeast Alaska Conservation Community " [] gave a slide show on the latest industrial clearcut logging now taking place on Sealaska land, state forest land and other land grant interests. The show consisted of images from a recent overflight and Google-Earth satellite overviews of Sealaska lands on the Cleveland Peninsula and P.O.W.'s Election Creek, and other examples .Needless to say, the push by Senator Lisa Murkowski to privatize land from the Tongass National Forest in order to rapidly clearcut and export round logs as fast as possible, was shocking, upsetting and holds dire consequences into the future.

The aerial view of photos of miles long clearcuts covering entire mountain sides, looked like a war zone of stumps and carnage over a vast landscape. It gave one the feeling that Sealaska Native Corporation was murdering the very earth itself. The thousands of acres of continuous clearcuts, leaving no living thing in it's path of mega-devastation, boggled the mind.

But it became clear, that this was not forestry, nor logging, no, this is some kind of 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.

Oh sure, over time, some sort of spindly mono culture devoid of the most basic elements that make a living forest, will replace the crime now carved into the dirt. But it will not replace the lush timeless forests that were destroyed. There is no future for any living creature, man nor beast, in this type of clearcuts of death, in the Tongass.

Shame Sealaska, shame is yours, you have shamed all Alaskans by your actions.

Joseph Sebastian
Kupreanof, Alaska

About: " 38 year commercial fisherman in Southeast Alaska"

Received December 19, 2015 - Published December 22, 2015


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