While the world is appalled at the destruction of the Amazon [“60-day burn ban to curb Amazon fires,” News, Aug. 30], can we spare a little pity for the Tongass rainforest, which encompasses 17 million acres of southeast Alaska and is America’s largest national forest?
It is one of the last remaining intact temperate rainforests in the world. It comprises forest, wetlands, snow, ice and rock. It is the home for unique and protected creatures. Brown and black bears, bald eagles and five species of Pacific salmon abound. Other animals include wolves, mountain goats and sitka black-tailed deer. Many migratory birds spend summer months there. Orca and humpback whales, otters, sea lions, seals and porpoises swim offshore.
President Donald Trump, who can only be joking when he calls himself an environmentalist, is pushing to open up 9.5 million acres of Tongass forest to mining, drilling and logging. Is this rainforest in our own country any less valuable to us and to the survival of our environment? Will there be anything left to save if we wait until Election Day to do something about this new outrage?