More than 60 businesses sign letter urging Biden admin to reinstate Tongass roadless protections

Ask Mark Hieronymous, fishing information and Sportfish Outreach Coordinator for Trout Limitless’s Alaska program, and he’ll gladly let you know that Alaska’s Tongass Nationwide Forest “is among the few locations on the planet the place wild salmon and trout nonetheless thrive and growth hasn’t diminished the panorama to a patchwork of insufficient wildlife habitat. Folks all through Alaska and the US rely on the wholesome productive rivers, wild fish, and unfragmented lands of the Tongass for meals, jobs and recreation.” And but, regardless of 96% of public feedback supporting the preservation of the Tongass Roadless Rule, final yr the Trump administration introduced the elimination of roadless protections for over 9 million acres of Tongass land.

The Tongass, the most important coastal temperate rainforest on all the globe, is dwelling to large, uncommon old-growth forest stands—the place a number of the bushes are over 800 years outdated. As famous, the Tongass Nationwide Forest can also be one of many world’s largest intact ecosystems—whose unfragmented habitat has been confirmed to be important to numerous species of natural world, together with salmon. The salmon that spawn within the Tongass’ 17,000 miles of rivers, streams and lakes that help ocean-going fish signify 30 p.c of Alaska’s complete annual harvest—a whopping 50 million fish.

The beforehand uncontroversial roadless protections, put in place in 2001, have been instrumental to preserving the intact nature of the Tongass, by defending some 9.3 million acres of land from being topic to street development, reconstruction or timber harvesting. The Trump administration’s elimination of these protections was seen as draconian and ill-advised, and was nearly universally denounced.

Regardless of Trump’s ouster and a Joe Biden administration that made large guarantees concerning its commitments to a wholesome surroundings, safety of our public lands, and aggressive motion on local weather change—those that most ardently advocated for these commitments have had little to cheer about. Many within the conservation group lauded the Biden administration’s “ending” of oil and fuel leasing on public lands, ignoring solely the truth that the administration’s actions merely paused the issuance of new oil and fuel leases on public lands, and would do nothing to gradual or cease already energetic public lands oil and fuel drilling or forestall new growth on the 1000’s upon 1000’s of already issued however yet-to-be-developed leases. In latest weeks, within the face of a quickly accelerating local weather disaster, the Biden administration has additionally provided indications that it intends to stroll again lots of its pledges concerning motion on local weather change, in favor of nebulous, meaningless appeals to bi-partisanship. And, midway by means of Biden’s first yr, the administration has but to take motion to reinstate roadless protections within the Tongass.

Nonetheless, there have been vibrant spots that provide indications that the administration, particularly within the face of public stress, may be compelled to take actions that produce critical, wanted change. Final week, as an illustration, the Biden administration cancelled all oil and fuel leases within the Arctic Nationwide Wildlife Refuge, halting considerations about leases issued on the finish of the Trump administration, which opened up the refuge to fossil gasoline extraction for the primary time in its historical past and after over 40 years of bi-partisan consensus that drilling was too dangerous to the refuge’s wildlife, landscapes and native cultures.

This week, Hatch Journal and over 60 companies and organizations—a mixture of media corporations, guides, tour operators, gear producers and retailers, sportsmen organizations, conservation teams and extra—signed a joint letter urging the Biden administration to reinstate the total 9.3 million acres of Roadless Rule protections eradicated by the draconian actions of the Trump administration and to honor the U.S. Forest Service’s 2013 dedication to transition the area away from unsustainable and dear old-growth logging.

Because the letter notes, “The Tongass actually is a sportsmen’s paradise—not only for Alaskans, however for all People. Pristine backcountry lands within the Tongass Nationwide Forest provide the clear water and high quality spawning habitats that help the area’s strong fisheries, comprise a lot of the area’s productive wildlife habitat for large sport species, present essential subsistence and cultural sources, and are globally important for carbon storage.”

The complete textual content of the letter and an inventory of its signatories may be discovered beneath.

Replace: On June eleventh, the Biden administration introduced that it could take steps to revive roadless protections within the Tongass Nationwide Forest. The administration suggested that it intends to publish new rulemaking for the Tongass someday in August. Extra data to comply with.

June 6, 2021

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Secretary, U.S. Division of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250

Pricey Secretary Vilsack:

As outfitters, guides, gear producers, retailers, and out of doors professionals whose livelihoods rely on world-class fishing, looking, and out of doors recreation in Alaska, we urge you to reinstate protections for the greater than 9 million acres of roadless areas in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass Nationwide Forest, and to make good in your promise to transition away from unsustainable logging of undeveloped late successional forests towards administration centered on recreation, customer providers, watershed well being, and young-growth forest merchandise. The Tongass Exemption fails to fulfill the present and future wants of Southeast Alaskans, the area’s many guests, and the a whole bunch of companies like ours that present greater than 1 / 4 of all jobs within the area.

The Tongass is world-renowned for its considerable salmon and steelhead, plentiful wildlife, and excellent scenic magnificence. It’s among the many world’s richest wild salmon-producing areas, contributing roughly 50 million fish yearly to Alaska’s multi-billion-dollar business salmon trade. Greater than 5,000 salmon streams entice greater than 100,000 leisure anglers yearly to pursue all 5 species of Pacific salmon, steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden. World-class guided trophy hunts and the chance for nonresidents to purchase a number of deer tags over-the-counter make the Tongass a premier looking vacation spot. Iconic scenes of bears fishing for salmon and stopovers for a number of the world’s largest hen migrations entice guests from around the globe to locations like Pack Creek and the Yakutat Tern Competition. From the Situk River within the north to Prince of Wales Island within the south, the Tongass supplies hunters, anglers and out of doors recreationists a number of the greatest and most numerous out of doors alternatives accessible in North America.

Recognizing many of those values, your 2013 memorandum affirmed the USDA’s 2010 dedication to quickly transition away from unsustainable and dear old-growth logging over a 10- to 15-year interval. On account of your management and after a number of years of collaboration and onerous compromise, an answer was reached to: (1) defend crucial and delicate areas on the Tongass, together with roadless areas, the Tongass 77, and TNC/Audubon conservation areas; (2) part out large-scale old-growth logging; and (3) encourage funding in young-growth administration. We stood by the Forest Service and supported the compromise then, and ask you to make good in your promise now.

The Tongass actually is a sportsmen’s paradise—not only for Alaskans, however for all People. Pristine backcountry lands within the Tongass Nationwide Forest provide the clear water and high quality spawning habitats that help the area’s strong fisheries, comprise a lot of the area’s productive wildlife habitat for large sport species, present essential subsistence and cultural sources, and are globally important for carbon storage. Our livelihoods rely on these habitats and the looking and fishing alternatives they supply. As enterprise house owners, we’re looking for sturdy conservation options and sustainable forest administration practices within the Tongass that promote group resilience throughout Southeast Alaska.

We urge you to acknowledge the immense significance of the Tongass’ fish, wildlife, and backcountry roadless areas, and assist reestablish the general public’s belief within the Forest Service, by reinstating roadless space protections and making good on the promise to transition the Tongass to administration that’s extra ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable.


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Brad Elfers, Proprietor
Juneau, AK

Alaska Fly Out Journey
Cory Luoma, Proprietor
Columbia Falls, MT

Alaska Kenai Fishing For Enjoyable
Brad Kirr, Proprietor
Soldotna, AK

American Fly Fishing Commerce Affiliation
Jim Bartschi, Chair of Board of Administrators
Bozeman, MT

Brad Brooks, CEO
Boise, ID

Baranof Wilderness Lodge
Mike and Sally Trotter, House owners
Sitka, AK

Cascadia Information, Inc
Eric Neufeld, Co-Proprietor
Spokane, WA

Chrome Chasers
Rick Matney, Proprietor
Wrangell, AK

Cooper Touchdown Fishing Information
David Lisi, Proprietor
Cooper Touchdown, AK

Dryft Fishing
Nick Satushek, President
Bellingham, WA

FarBank Enterprises
Tag Kleiner, VP of Advertising and marketing
Bainbridge Island, WA

Ben Kurtz, President
Denver, CO

Fly Water Journey
Ken Morrish, Director of Journey Gross sales
Ashland, OR

Gastineau Guiding
Sierra Gadaire, Operations Supervisor
Juneau, AK

Allen Fly Fishing
A.J. Gottschalk, Vice President Southlake, TX

Aquaz Fishing
Brandon Hwang, President
South Korea

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
John Gale, Conservation Director Boulder, CO

Bear Creek Outfitters
Arne Johnson, Proprietor
Juneau, AK

Chota Outside Gear
Mark Brown, Common Supervisor
Knoxville, TN

Coastal Alaska Adventures
Keegan McCarthy, Proprietor
Douglas, AK

Customized Alaska Cruises
Keegan McCarthy, Proprietor
Douglas, AK

Expedition Dealer
Greg Schlacter, Proprietor
Haines, AK

First Lite
Ford Van Fossan, Conservation Supervisor
Ketchum, ID

Fly Fishers Worldwide
Dave Peterson, Conservation Committee Chair
Livingston, MT

Frontiers Worldwide Journey
Mike Fitzgerald, President
Wexford, PA

Glacier Guides, Inc.
Alisha “Mutts” and Zach Decker, House owners
Glacier Bay, AK

Harper Studios
Earl Harper, Proprietor
Seattle, WA

Lakeview Outfitters
TJ Dawson and Phil Hilbruner, House owners
Cooper Touchdown, AK

Maven Outside Gear Firm
Brendon Weaver, Co-Proprietor
Lander, WY

Mossy’s Fly Store
Mike Brown, Proprietor
Anchorage, AK

Nautilus Reels
Kristen Mustad, Proprietor
Sunderland, VT

Raging River Gross sales
Eric Neufeld, Proprietor
North Bend, WA

Tag Kleiner, VP of Advertising and marketing
Bainbridge Island, WA

Rio Merchandise
Tag Kleiner, VP of Advertising and marketing
Idaho Falls, ID

Sawyer Paddles and Oars
Derek Younger, Northern US Territory
Gold Hill, OR

Scott Fly Rod Firm
Jim Bartschi, President
Montrose, CO

Shell Artwork Studio
Shelly Marshal, Proprietor
Juneau, AK

Sitka Conservation Society
Andrew Thoms, Government Director
Sitka, AK

Hatch Journal
Chad Shmukler, Editor
Philadelphia, PA

Loon Outdoor
Hogan Brown, Director of Advertising and marketing
Boise, ID

MeatEater Inc.
Steven Rinella
Bozeman, MT

Thriller Ranch Backpacks
Ryan Holm, Director of Advertising and marketing
Bozeman, MT

Pybus Level Lodge
Scott Jorgenson, Proprietor
Pybus Bay, AK

Rajeff Sports activities / ECHO Flyfishing
Evan Burck, Advertising and marketing
Vancouver, WA

Reds Fly Store
Joe Rotter, Associate
Ellensburg, WA

Sage Fly Fishing
Tag Kleiner, VP of Advertising and marketing
Bainbridge Island, WA

Scientific Anglers
Brad Befus, President
Midland, MI

Search Outdoors
Kevin and Angie Timm, House owners
Grand Junction, CO

Simms Fishing Merchandise
Okay.C. Walsh, Government Chairman
Bozeman, MT

Sitka Gear
Thaddeus Kaczmarek, Client Expertise
Bozeman, MT

Temple Fork Outfitters
Nick Conklin, Fly Fishing Product Supervisor
Dallas, TX

The Fly Fishing Present
Ben Furimsky, President and CEO
Somerset, PA

The FlyFish Journal
Jeff Galbraith, Writer
Bellingham, WA

The Orvis Firm
Dave Perkins, Vice Chairman
Sunderland, VT

Treasure Hunter Lodge
Kurt Whitehead and Trina Nation, House owners
Klawock, AK

Umpqua Feather Retailers
Russell Miller, Director of Advertising and marketing
Louisville, CO

Votex Optics
Mark Boardman, Director of Advertising and marketing
Barneveld, WI

The Boat Firm
Hunter McIntosh, President and CEO
Poulsbo, WA

The Fly Store
Pat Pendergast, Director of Worldwide Journey
Redding, CA

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Joel Webster, VP for Western Conservation
Missoula, MT

The Venturing Angler
Tim Harden, Supervisor
Miami, FL

Trout Limitless
Austin Williams, Alaska Authorized and Coverage Director
Anchorage, AK

Uncruise Adventures
Dan Blanchard, Proprietor and CEO
Juneau, AK

Yellow Canine Flyfishing Adventures
Jim Klug, Director of Operations
Bozeman, MT

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