Roadless Area in Tongass National Forest Opened to Logging by the Obama Administration

8.8 miles of new road are involved in what was once a roadless area.

“Just building the road will cost four times as much revenue as the Forest Service is going to get from the timber sale,” said Waldo of Earthjustice.

Ketchikan mill is awarded Orion North timber
Deal marks first timber sale in roadless area under Obama






  1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
    SEAK Mossback

    Alluding to an earlier thread, I have no problem with the word harvest for resources managed on a truly sustainable basis. However, I draw the line at clear-cutting ancient forest. It’s by definition unsustainable and highly detrimental to wildlife (save perhaps the red squirrel) for at least 150 to as many as 300 years (assuming it’s left to grow back, otherwise it becomes a perennial cellulose cemetery with no under-story to support wildlife except for brief periods after each cut). Clear-cutting wouldn’t be viable without the taxpayers paying the high cost of access roads that the USFS justifies with creative accounting that assumes increased recreational value for many decades. With the government building new roads to areas where every tree within reach is liquidated, there’s no incentive for selective helicopter logging that might be more consistent with the natural disturbance pattern of the forest.

  2. montucky Avatar

    This is one more in a growing list of disappointments from the Obama administration.

  3. Hilljack Avatar

    That story is missing a lot of information. Is this really old growth and if so what wildlife species are using it. Is there a concern about fisheries and the impact of clear cutting and the amount of sedimentation that will enter salmon spawning grounds. Maybe this was logged before and it is second growth. I love how they always quote the enviro like they ever have a opinion not clouded in there beliefs. Personally I dislike earthjustice. I think if they focused on real projects that will have negative effects fine but a lot of what they do has no scientific bases and just clogs the courts with there outragous claims. Maybe that is why they lose over 90% of there cases against the Forest Service.

  4. jerryB Avatar

    Hilljack….”Maybe that is why they lose over 90% of their cases against the Forest Service”.
    Wow!! That’s an abysmal record. Wonder if their funders are aware of that statistic?
    Will you please cite some examples in the last year or so where they lost?
    Wonder why anyone hires them to litigate?

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    Logging ancient temperate rainforests is one of the worst things that can be done to damage carbon sinks.

    That is because unlike tropical rainforests, or just other forests, so much of the carbon is underground, not part of the actual trees cut.

    Logging these old trees, and worse burning the waste afterward, releases a huge pulse of carbon dioxide that was otherwise tied up pretty much permanently.

    One example doesn’t prove my point, but I think this Administration does not understand the importance of carbon sinks. They only think of sources of emissions.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole