Tom Waldo on Fighting For Alaska's Ancient Rainforest
Today we will take an in depth look at the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, which has been called the “crown jewel” of Americas forests. The largest of US national forests, it consists of one third of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest ecosystem, which only occurs in three percent of Earths landmass. The Tongass has already had nearly half of its very large old growth trees cut down due to a process known as high-grading—where loggers remove the oldest and largest trees from the forest. These trees are often essential to the ecosystem, simply because they are so large and provide vital habitats for woodland creatures. Last month, an Alaska court approved further logging of this rare heritage old-growth that has just begun and will continue for ten years unless we organize a strong push-back. Joining us today to fill us in about this top-priority conservation issue is Tom Waldo, senior staff attorney with Earth Justice in Alaska, who has dedicated the last 25 years to defending Alaska’s ancient forests and other urgent causes.