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Tongass National Forest

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The State of Alaska is home to one the United States’ most disputed ecological areas to date. The Tongass National Forest has been the battle ground of the Alaskan logging industry and nature conservation groups for the last 40 years. One side advocating for industry, economic growth, and job security the other fighting for the long term ecological health and prosperity of the forest.
This battle first began in the 1950’s in part to aid in Japanese recovery after world war two, the Forest Service set up long-term logging contracts with two pulp mills: the Ketchikan Pulp Company (KPC) and the Alaska Pulp Company. This deal gave the pulp companies full accesses to the Tongass it being the one area in Alaska that was economically viable
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Due the Tongass being the one area in Alaska that timber harvest is viable the timber stand there have be susceptible to a logging strategy called high grading. This entail tree being selected based on their large size and high quality even more so than other logging operations state side. Stands of other timber that would be marketable in other regions of the states are not economically viable to harvest in the Tongass, due to its remote location. This leads to massive cutting of the largest trees know as class sevens originally only four percent Tongass was home to trees of that size, and over the years over two thirds of that has been …show more content…
The estimated 3543 jobs in 1990 now has dropped to 265 over an 80% loss the 520 million board feet a year has shrank to only 30 million and seven out of eight large mills have closed their doors. Larger towns such as Sitka and Ketchikan have bounced back with a large tourism industry but outlying villages such as Hoonah or Tenakee Springs are in process of losing schools and full residents being replaced by people seeking summer homes. The people who still have jobs with the local industry are being reassured that with old growth slowly being is totally phased out that new growth will ready to cut within 50 years and they just need to hold a little bit longer. In contrast many local logger looking new growth say it looks closer to 80 – 120 years for those tree to viable to cut and that many of them want to be a part of this new change to logging but many of the don’t think they

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