October 26, 2018 | By:

Help Protect our Largest Wilderness Study Area!

From Wilderness Watch

Help Protect our Largest Wilderness Study Area 1.9 million acres in Alaska at risk! Your comments in 2016 helped strengthen protections for the 1.9 million-acre Nellie Juan-College Fiord Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in Alaska. Now your help is needed again by November 1 to further improve the Forest Service’s Final Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

The Nellie Juan-College Fiord WSA is an ecological and scenic treasure. It is nearly two million acres of ancient rainforest, wild salmon, and stunning mountains and glaciers. Its meandering fiords are laced with hundreds of remote islands.

We urge you to submit a comment on the Forest Service’s Draft Land and Resource Management Plan for the Chugach National Forest (NF) in Alaska. While the 6.9 million-acre Chugach does not yet have a single acre of designated Wilderness, this National Forest does have the spectacular, Congressionally-designated Nellie Juan-College Fiord WSA.

Click here to submit your comments online:

Please write in your own words asking for the following changes to the current proposed Forest Plan:

  • The Plan must protect the “wilderness character” of the WSA, not the Forest Service’s weak proposal to protect just its “existing character.” Furthermore, the Plan must protect the wilderness character of the lands in the WSA by classifying all of them with the Forest Service’s “Primitive” standard, which is the most protective standard in the agency’s recreational classification system.
  • Restore strong protection to the lands within the WSA that the federal government purchased following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. These lands were acquired for the restoration of wilderness values and must be managed “in perpetuity for conservation and wilderness purposes,” as promised when they were purchased.
  • The Chugach NF must address ongoing illegal recreational use of chainsaws in the WSA, which has resulted in damaging tree removal along dozens of wilderness beaches, including in sensitive areas.
  • Alternative D recommends the maximum amount of land for Wilderness of any of the Alternatives (97 percent of the WSA, or 1.884 million acres). I support a modified Alternative D wilderness recommendation that also includes Lake Nellie Juan and the lands within the WSA boundary that were purchased for restoration of wilderness resources following the oil spill.

Help us Protect Wilderness! All first-time donations matched by a long-time member in Alaska.



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