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Protect U.S. Alaskan Rainforest

Help protect Alaska's threatened rainforests
The Alaska rainforest boasts 22.5 million acres of ancient forest, including giant trees hundreds of feet tall and up to a thousand years old. It's also home to the world's healthiest remaining populations of grizzly bears, bald eagles, and salmon. A few moments of your time can help save this irreplaceable treasure forever.

Clearcut Logging Doom for Wildlife and Fish Dependent on the Rainforest
Clearcut logging spells doom for wildlife and fish dependent on the ancient forest stands found in Alaska's rainforest. Unlike natural wind disturbances (the dominant force of natural change in Alaska's rainforest, replacing trees in very small groups scattered across the forest) all trees are logged in a clearcut, regardless of age or size. Initially, increased light allows a flush of new vegetation. However, 20-30 years after logging, the new trees close in, creating a dense thicket of small trees that eliminates virtually all light on the forest floor and kills understory growth. This logging practice, the dominant harvest method in Alaska, leads to lengthy periods of relative biological sterility.

  [ Image, Eagle ]

[ Image, Grizzly Bear ]
Photos © Alaska Rainforest Campaign

The low-growth stage lasts for at least 200 years, until old growth conditions important to fish and wildlife naturally redevelop. Because all managed timber stands will be cut again in an average of 100 years, Alaska rainforest stands that have been clearcut will never regain the old-growth characteristics important to fish and wildlife. Clearcutting converts ancient forests to tree farms that, unless left alone for several centuries, will never be the same as the forest that existed before.

[ IMG, Alaskan Scenery ]  

Only about 11 percent of Alaska's rainforest has been clearcut to date, but more than half the best timber stands -- which are also the best wildlife habitat -- have already been cut. While the Alaska rainforest still boasts healthy populations of fish and wildlife, we are far closer to harming the ecosystem than it might seem.

TAKE ACTION - click hereClick here to send a free FAX to Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth to support the protection of the Alaskan Rainforests!



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