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Letter to USDA Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth

Location: Washington, DC

Letter to USDA Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth

May 8, 2006

Chief Dale Bosworth

USDA Forest Service
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0003

Dear Chief Bosworth,

We are writing in response to the Notice of Intent (NOI) issued in the Federal Register on March 28, 2006 regarding the Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan (Tongass Plan). We support your agency's decision to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) which responds to the failures of the current Tongass Plan as identified by the 9th Circuit U.S. Federal Court of Appeals.

We look forward to reviewing the Tongass EIS when it is released. We anticipate a presentation of a broad range of alternatives - based on accurate economic analysis and sound science - which seek to conserve the biological diversity and ecological integrity of the temperate rainforest in southeastern Alaska as well as balance the multiple uses of the forest.

In particular, we urge you to use this opportunity to develop a balanced plan which thoroughly and accurately reflects economic trends in our country's largest national forest. According to a 2005 economic report from the Forest Service, recreation and tourism is currently and will continue to be of "more importance to the economic vitality of the region" than timber. A successful new Tongass Plan must therefore serve the needs not just of the timber industry, but of the many stakeholders and users of the forest.

We believe the Forest Service's Tongass Plan revision must address the overwhelming national public support for protecting roadless areas and end the unsustainable practice of logging inventoried roadless areas at a high cost to native flora and fauna, Southeast Alaska communities, and U.S. taxpayers.

The Tongass is the crown jewel of our country's National Forest System - a remote coastal temperate rainforest, home to wildlife and fish populations unparalleled anywhere else on the planet. It is critical that the Forest Service develop a plan which conservatively manages the Tongass National Forest in recognition of its value as the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world.

We look forward to engaging cooperatively with the Forest Service as it crafts the new Tongass Plan.

Thank you for your consideration. Please accept these as official comments on the NOI to prepare a Tongass National Forest Plan amendment environmental impact statement.


Rosa DeLauro Rob Andrews

Zoe Lofgren Carolyn McCarthy

Ed Case Lloyd Doggett

Anna Eschoo Robert Wexler

Tim Ryan Pete Stark

Mark Udall Jim Gerlach

Joseph Crowley Stephen Lynch

Cynthia McKinney Adam Schiff

Mike Doyle Jay Inslee

Frank Pallone Allyson Schwartz

Jim McGovern Steve Israel

Michael Michoud Shelley Berkley

Jim Marshall John Larson

Rush Holt Tammy Baldwin

Betty McCollum Brad Sherman

Ellen Tauscher Jim McDermott

John Olver Anthony Weiner

Christopher Shays Sam Farr

Rham Emanuel Ron Kind

Chris Van Hollen Raul Grijalva

Ben Chandler Eddie Bernice Johnson

Michael Fitzpatrick Julia Carson

Grace Napolitano Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Gregory Meeks Michael Honda

Barbara Lee Dale Kildee

Ed Markey Peter DeFazio

Eliot Engel David Price

Rick Boucher George Miller

Donald Payne Michael McNulty

Lane Evans Jose Serrano

Jim Moran Nydia Velazquez

Gary Ackerman Barney Frank

Lynn Woolsey Sander Levin

Steve Rothman Major Owens

Nita Lowey Carolyn Maloney

Jane Harman Tom Lantos

Dennis Kucinich Maurice Hinchey

Corrine Brown Earl Blumenauer

Louise Slaughter Sheila Jackson Lee

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