WASHINGTON (CN) – Ketchikan, Juneau and other Alaskan cities have filed suit in Federal Court challenging the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s decision to cut back on commerical logging in the Tongass National Forest, the earth’s largest temperate rainforest.
The city governments, accompanied by two chambers of commerce, say the Secretary of Agriculture reduced the commercially loggable acres in the Tongass National Forest from 2.4 million to 633,000.
The combined political and business effort reflects the viewpoint of Gov. Sarah Palin’s that the region’s natural resources should be exploited.
That political imperative was exemplified most recently at the Republican National Convention by the exhortation of Alaskan delegates to “Drill, Baby, Drill,” in reference to off-shore oil exploration.
According to Wikipedia, “Along with British Columbia‘s Great Bear Rainforest, Tongass is part of the perhumid rainforest zone, and the forest is primarily made up of western red cedar, sitka spruce, and western hemlock. Tongass is Earth’s largest remaining temperate rainforest.”Unique and protected features seldom found anywhere else in North America inhabit the thousands of islands along the Alaska coast. Five species of salmon, brown and black bear, and Bald eagles abound throughout the forest.”