Category Archives: Deforestation

Tweet 4 Prince of Wales Wolves

The hunting, trapping and illegal take of wolves from the Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska must come to a full stop or extirpation is not only imminent, but in the not too distant future. 

The federal subsistence wolf hunting season on POW begins tomorrow September 1st, with a quota set at 5 animals. As you already know it is nearly impossible to enforce such a small quota as we have seen in prior years: the quota for 2016 was set at 11 wolves yet the reported “harvest” was 28 animals; the year before the quota was set at 9 animals and 29 wolves were killed. This, of course, does not include unreported kills, which may be substantial.

As of this morning (August 31) we have not received a response from the Federal Subsistence Board, nor from Alaska Department of Fish and Game, regarding our request (representing the 11,000 members of In the shadow of the wolf community) and petition for the suspension of wolf hunting on Prince of Wales Island

Because of the failure on the part of ADF&G and the FSB to engage in any sort of dialogue, with regard to our concerns for the diminished wolf population on the island, we need to be more assertive with phone calls, emails and again, another last minute tweetstorm, this time for the Alexander Archipelago Wolves on Prince of Wales Island. 

Please take a little time out of your day to speak up for this devastated wolf population, their lives must be filled with misery. Help where you can; if you are not on twitter then please make a phone call, send an email or alert the media.  Please, just help out. 

Feel free to use any of the graphics from below or from our Facebook page @intheshadowofthewolf. As this is a last minute effort my time was extremely limited and would not allow for adding images. My apologies. As usual, all tweets can be automatically sent by tapping “Tweet4Wolves” at the end of each tweet. For ease of tweeting, open this link on your browser and close your twitter window. Should you still have trouble sending tweets then open this blog post on Twitter and send your tweets from there.

1. #Wolves #PrinceOfWalesWolves #StandForWolves PLS sign & share: Suspend Wolf Hunting on Prince of Wales Island:  bit.ly/AA_Wolves Tweet4Wolves

2. #PrinceOfWalesWolves population declined 60% from 221 #wolves in 2013 to 89 in 2014 yet hunting continues! @interior @latimes @nytimes Tweet4Wolves 

3. #PrinceOfWalesWolves population declined 60% from 221 #wolves in 2013 to 89 in 2014 yet hunting continues! @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

4. 29 more #PrinceOfWalesWolves were killed during the 2014-15 season while the quota was set at 9 #wolves. @interior @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves 

5. 29 more #PrinceOfWalesWolves were killed during the 2014-15 season while the quota was set at 9 #wolves. @latimes @nytimes Tweet4Wolves  

6. At the end of 2015 season just 60 #PrinceOfWalesWolves remained yet hunting is still allowed. Shame #Alaska @interior @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

7. At the end of 2015 season just 60 #PrinceOfWalesWolves remained yet hunting is still allowed. Shame on #Alaska @latimes @nytimes Tweet4Wolves 

8. During the 2016-17 season the quota was set at 11 #PrinceOfWalesWolves and 28 were killed! Cancel the hunt #Alaska @interior @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

9. .@nytimes @latimes During the 2016-17 season the quota was set at 11 #PrinceOfWalesWolves and 28 were killed! Cancel the hunt #Alaska Tweet4Wolves

10a. This season’s #ADFG #FSB quota of FIVE #PrinceOfWalesWolves is IMPOSSIBLE 2 enforce @SecretaryZinke @AP @NPR  @nytimes @latimes @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

10. Total amount of #PrinceOfWalesWolves “harvested” does not include unreported kills which may be substantial @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves 

11. These R dire times for 1 of world’s rarest wolf subspecies. #PrinceOfWalesWolves Suspend wolf hunting on POW @USFWS @interior  @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

12. #PrinceOfWalesWolves a unique subspecies of North American #wolves, from which they have been isolated for millennia are highly endangered Tweet4Wolves

13. The long-term impacts of logging & roads push #PrinceOfWalesWolves population toward #extinction @interior @latimes @nytimes @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

14. The long-term impacts of logging & roads have pushed #PrinceOfWalesWolves population toward #extinction @USFWS @SecretaryZinke @adndotcom  Tweet4Wolves   

15. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R a symbol of wilderness and ecological integrity and have declined 75% in 20yrs @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

16. The hunting/trapping/poaching of #PrinceOfWalesWolves needs to come to a full stop or extirpation is imminent @interior @USFWS @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

 17. The hunting/trapping/poaching of #PrinceOfWalesWolves needs to come to a full stop or extirpation is imminent @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

18. Steve Brockmann a @USFWS employee indicated that the continuing decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves has to do with over-harvesting! @interior Tweet4Wolves

19. #PrinceOfWalesWolves play an important role in the ecotourism that contributes more than $1 billion 2 Southeast #Alaska economy @interior Tweet4Wolves

20. 6 decades of @forestservice aggressive old-growth clearcut #logging on POW has endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

21. 6 decades of @forestservice aggressive old-growth clearcut #logging program on POW has endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

22. #PrinceOfWalesWolves rely almost exclusively on a single prey species, also in decline, the Sitka black-tailed deer @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

23. #PrinceOfWalesWolves and the deer have suffered over the past few decades as #logging has eroded their island habitats. @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

24. Roads built 2 support logging effort provide easy access points 4 poachers 2 enter forest & kill #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

25. The POW Complex has over 4,200 miles of roads contributing to a marked increase in poaching of the #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

26. Over 1/2 of the old-growth forests that #PrinceOfWalesWolves rely on for hunting, denning & raising pups R now gone! @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

27. .@usfs approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, home to #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

28. .@forestservice approved an ill-conceived logging operation within the Tongass National Forest, home 2 #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

29. Shame on @usfs 4 pushing ahead w/6,000 acres old-growth logging & 80 more miles of logging road thru #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat @interior Tweet4Wolves

30. Shame on @forestservice 4 pushing ahead w/6,000 acres old-growth logging in #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat for 15 more yrs @interior Tweet4Wolves

31. Shame on @forestservice 4 pushing ahead w/6,000 acres old-growth logging in #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat for 15 more yrs @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

32. Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in the Tongass & will cause extinction of #PrinceOfWalesWolves @usfs @interior goo.gl/LPCrVM Tweet4Wolves

33. Timber sales cost taxpayers millions in Tongass & will cause extinction~ #PrinceOfWalesWolves @forestservice @USFWS goo.gl/LPCrVM Tweet4Wolves

34. Scientific evidence shows that #PrinceOfWalesWolves cannot survive in areas with high road density @interior @USFWS @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

35. .@forestservice is more interested in kowtowing 2 timber industry than in preserving our forests 4 future generations #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

36. The ongoing scale of old-growth logging imperils #PrinceOfWalesWolves by further reducing & fragmenting remaining forest stands @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

37. #PrinceOfWalesWolves risk of inbreeding is⬆putting them at great risk of extinction due 2 loss of genetic diversity @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

38. Genetic diversity is always a crucial factor with isolated species! Cancel #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting #ADFG @interior @SecretaryZinke Tweet4Wolves

39. In SE #Alaska #PrinceOfWalesWolves bring significant economic benefits 2 communities ~ Essential4Ecotourism @interior @USFWS @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

40. Evidence suggests ecological heterogeneity across space can influence genetic structure of populations #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior Tweet4Wolves

41. Evidence suggests ecological heterogeneity across space can influence genetic structure of populations #PrinceOfWalesWolves @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

42. Research found the presence of a genetic cline between mainland & island wolves. Protect #PrinceOfWalesWolves #ESA bit.ly/1GHqCyw  Tweet4Wolves

43. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R an ecologically important & genetically distinct predator that symbolizes the wilderness of the Tongass @interior Tweet4Wolves

44. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R an ecologically important & genetically distinct predator that symbolizes the wilderness of the Tongass @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

45. Both #ADFG & FSB attempt to enforce a season’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves quota by counting skins that R brought in 4 sealing @interior @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

46. Both #ADFG & FSB attempt to enforce a season’s #PrinceOfWalesWolves quota by counting skins that R brought in 4 sealing @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

47. FSB regulation: #PrinceOfWalesWolves skins taken by hunting &trapping must B sealed within 14 days, overquota inevitable @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

48. #ADFG #PrinceOfWalesWolves taken by hunting require “skin” sealing within 30 days, a guaranteed overquota! @interior @nytimes @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

49. Regardless of which “skin sealing” time limit applies, it is nearly impossible 2 enforce such a small quota! @interior #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

50. Regardless of which “skin sealing” time limit applies, it is nearly impossible2 enforce such a small quota! @AP @NPR   #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

51. The smaller the quota of #PrinceOfWalesWolves the greater the chances R of the quota being exceeded! @interior @nytimes @latimes @USFWS Tweet4Wolves

52. Further compounding this disastrous situation is the unregulated amount of, & location of, trappers/hunters #PrinceOfWalesWolves @interior Tweet4Wolves

53. Further compounding this disastrous situation is the unregulated amount of, & location of, trappers/hunters #PrinceOfWalesWolves @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

54. Neither the State nor the FSB have regulations that limit number of trappers/hunters who may take #PrinceOfWalesWolves in GMU -2 @interior Tweet4Wolves

55. Neither the State nor the FSB have regulations that limit number of trappers/hunters who may take #PrinceOfWalesWolves in GMU -2 @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

56. If the decline in numbers is not arrested & recovery not immediately commenced, #PrinceOfWalesWolves fate will B sealed. @interior @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

57. Decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is a management problem that desperately needs fixing http://wp.me/p6o9qd-5s  @USFWS @interior  @AP @NPR  Tweet4Wolves

58. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing  threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, please report @nytimes @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

59. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing  threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, please report @latimes @AP @Alaska @NPR Tweet4Wolves

60. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing  threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, pls report @WSJ @newsminer @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

61. #PrinceOfWalesWolves R facing threat of extinction due 2 lack of food, hunting/poaching & logging, pls report @LATenvironment @alaskapublic Tweet4Wolves

62. Roads constructed 4 old-growth logging facilitate substantial illegal poaching @interior @usfs @nytimes @adndotcom #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

63. Obviously hunting, trapping, & poaching #PrinceOfWalesWolves is near roads because access is easier @interior @forestservice @AP @NPR Tweet4Wolves

64. The farther from a road #PrinceOfWalesWolves or deer are the more likely they will survive @interior @nytimes However… Tweet4Wolves

65. The farther from a road #PrinceOfWalesWolves or deer are the more likely they will survive @AP @NPR However… Tweet4Wolves

66. …with such an extensive network of existing roads poaching is rife! @interior @nytimes @forestservice @AP @NPR #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

67. Average distance 2 roads within GMU2 is 2.1 miles & only 1.7 miles on POW Island itself @interior @nytimes @usfs #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

68. Such high road density leaves little secure habitat for #PrinceOfWalesWolves or Sitka black tailed deer @interior @nytimes @usfs Tweet4Wolves

69. 40% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves home is logged/roaded (GMU2) creating a very high risk mortality which exceeds reproduction @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

70. When just 25% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves home is logged, the ratio of reproduction to mortality is very close to 1 @interior @nytimes @usfs Tweet4Wolves

71. .@usfs wants public 2believe ADF&G’s mgmt of trapping/hunting can mitigate effects of overlogging/habitat destruction! #PrinceOfWalesWolves Tweet4Wolves

72. #Wolves #PrinceOfWalesWolves #StandForWolves PLS sign and share: Suspend Wolf Hunting on Prince of Wales Island:  bit.ly/AA_Wolves Tweet4Wolves

73. #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting begins September 1st, voice your opposition! Call Bruce Dale 907-861-2101 #StandForWolves Tweet4Wolves

74. #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting begins September 1st, voice your opposition! Call Ryan Scott 907-465-4359 #StandForWolves Tweet4Wolves

75. #PrinceOfWalesWolves hunting begins September 1st, voice your opposition! Call Anthony Christianson 907-786-3888 #StandForWolves Tweet4Wolves

76. The hunting & trapping of #PrinceOfWalesWolves has reached unsustainable levels. Cancel the hunt! @AkGovBillWalker #EndangeredSpecies  Tweet4Wolves

77. This yrs season of trapping and hunting will push the incredibly imperiled #PrinceOfWalesWolves closer to #extinction @interior @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

78. 2 maintain a viable population of #PrinceOfWalesWolves , #Alaska must cancel the season! @interior @USFWS @AKGovBillWalker @SecretaryZinke  Tweet4Wolves

79. Alaska wildlife officials contend: “no radical changes are necessary” 4 managing nearly extinct #PrinceOfWalesWolves population Outrageous! Tweet4Wolves

80. Endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves & associated islands R geographically isolated & genetically distinct from other #wolves. @WSJ @AP @nytimes Tweet4Wolves

81. Endangered #PrinceOfWalesWolves & associated islands R geographically isolated & genetically distinct from other #wolves. @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

82. Scientific evidence shows significant genetic differentiation between #PrinceOfWalesWolves & interior wolves @AP : goo.gl/a3wA7U  Tweet4Wolves

83. Scientific data shows significant genetic differentiation between #PrinceOfWalesWolves & interior wolves @interior goo.gl/a3wA7U Tweet4Wolves

84. Evidence shows significant genetic differentiation between #PrinceOfWalesWolves & interior wolves @interior goo.gl/a3wA7U Tweet4Wolves 

85. 87% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves mortality is from unsustainable hunting/trapping Cancel the hunt @AKGovBillWalker protect under ESA @USFWS @AP Tweet4Wolves

85b. 87% of #PrinceOfWalesWolves mortality is from unsustainable hunting/trapping Cancel the hunt @SecretaryZinke @AP @NPR @nytimes @latimes Tweet4Wolves

86. Old growth logging has compromised the environmental & economic viability of the Tongass & forsaken the #PrinceOfWalesWolves @AP @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

87. The rapid decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves underscores the threat continued cutting of old-growth trees poses in the Tongass @AP @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

88. The rapid decline of #PrinceOfWalesWolves underscores the threat continued cutting of old-growth trees poses in the Tongass @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

89. 24 yrs ago authorities recognized #PrinceOfWalesWolves viability was in danger as direct result of timber harvest in Tongass @AP @WSJ @NPR Tweet4Wolves

90. 24yrs ago authorities recognized #PrinceOfWalesWolves viability was in danger as direct result of timber harvest in Tongass @washingtonpost Tweet4Wolves

91. 24yrs ago FWS said “Without significant changes 2existing Tongass LMP, long-term viability of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is seriously imperiled.” Tweet4Wolves

92. Logging roads clearly increased risk of death 4 #PrinceOfWalesWolves from hunting/trapping & contributed 2unsustainable rates of “harvest” Tweet4Wolves

93. ADF&G should consider effects of roads, & expect substantial illegal harvest where #PrinceOfWalesWolves habitat is accessible 2 humans! @AP Tweet4Wolves

94. ADF&G, knowing poaching levels R as high as legal “take” should act2 PROTECT remaining #PrinceOfWalesWolves NOT encourage hunting! @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

95. The opportunity 2C unique #PrinceOfWalesWolves in old growth home draws people frm all over the world Essential4Ecotourism @AKGovBillWalker Tweet4Wolves

96. A sharp decline in #PrinceOfWalesWolves equals a sharp decline in ecotourism.”Killing wolves is bad for business” @AKGovBillWalker @AP @WSJ Tweet4Wolves

97. Allowing decimation/imminent extinction of #PrinceOfWalesWolves is poor stewardship @interior @AKGovBillWalker @USFWS @AP @NPR @adndotcom Tweet4Wolves

Share your thoughts with those who allow the removal of wolves from our public lands in the Tongass, on Prince of Wales Island, via email or phone:

 ADF&G Director Bruce Dale:  bruce.dale@alaska.gov  Phone: 907-861-2101

ADF&G Regional Supervisor, Ryan Scott:  ryan.scott@alaska.gov  Phone: 907-465-4359

Anthony Christianson, Chair Federal Subsistence Board: subsistence@fws.gov    Phone: 907-786-3888

 

As always, thank you for being a voice for the wolves.

Twenty-eight | The imminent extirpation of Alexander Archipelago Wolves from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska:


Visit our wolf lover’s shop, where up to 100 percent of our profits are donated to organizations working to save wolves and the habitat they need for survival.

Copyright © 2017 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Clearcutting the Tongass National Forest is Dead Wrong

In Paris last December, the world turned a major corner on climate change. Some 195 nations agreed on the urgency of the threat. They also agreed to take steps to combat it, including promoting forest protection and reforestation — steps that are necessary, though not in themselves sufficient, if we are to avoid consequences as extreme for our economies and health as they are for the environment.

President Obama deserves much of the credit for this progress. On his watch, the United States has cut greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country. He has become a powerful voice at home and abroad for doing everything possible to cut emissions. And he is showing global leadership in policy areas that go beyond the Paris agreement; for instance, he has ordered an overhaul of the federal coalleasing program, which produces a tenth of all carbon dioxide emitted by U.S. sources.

In the Tongass rainforest, the Forest Service has clung to the old-school logging of some of the most biologically rich, scenically stunning and carbon-dense forests on Earth. 

So it was a surprise to see the U.S. Forest Service — as if in a time warp — recently working counter to that approach in the vast Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska. There, the agency plans to continue liquidating carbon-laden old growth for at least another decade and a half.

Forest conservation is only one corner in the race to stem climate disruption that the Paris agreement, though broadly encouraging, did not get us far enough around. But it’s a vital one. As Secretary of State John Kerry said recently, deforestation generates nearly a quarter of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The science is clear: If we want to keep global warming from threatening the existence of coastal areas and low-lying island nations, the world must preserve its remaining old forests and the massive carbon reserves they’ve accumulated over the centuries. The new wood we use has to come instead from sustainably managed plantations and young stands that quickly regrow and recapture the carbon they lose to logging.

Mostly, our federally managed national forests have made that change over the past 25 years. But in the wilds of Alaska, it’s a different story. In the Tongass rainforest, the Forest Service has clung to the old-school logging of some of the most biologically rich, scenically stunning and carbon-dense forests on Earth.

The 17-million-acre Tongass absorbs about 8 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere every year. It also teems with extraordinary wildlife, including bears, eagles, wolves and salmon.

Six years ago, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack decided that enough was enough. He announced a transition away from further logging of Tongass old growth, with the Forest Service “rapidly” implementing this change. This was met with high praise from the public and from scientists like me, but at the agency level, his initiative stalled. The Forest Service went years with no visible progress on the transition, while approving continued clear-cutting of America’s last great rainforest.

This fall, the agency released its final “transition” proposal: 16 more years of old-growth clear-cutting, and maybe more. According to one analysis, the logging proposed under the agency’s plan would release carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to about 4 million additional vehicles annually.

The agency says that neither it, nor the timber industry, can move any faster. In the Pacific Northwest, however, both transitioned to logging young forests almost overnight when courts halted access to old growth. The agency asserts that young Tongass trees growing on old clear-cuts are not yet big enough to log. In fact, though, they are older and larger than the ones that local Native corporation loggers cut and sell abroad, and small local mills say they would be happy to process these trees locally, if they could get them from the agency. 

Keeping global warming below catastrophic levels is not something that can wait until we finally get around to it. We need to be doing everything we can right now. We can’t afford to spend another 16 years or more liquidating Tongass old growth and losing the carbon reserves it stores. And we certainly shouldn’t signal other countries that the vital business of saving their carbon-rich rainforests can wait for decades. 

The Forest Service can and must move much faster and not undermine U.S. progress and leadership on climate change by protecting these biologically rich and most scenically stunning and carbon dense forests on Earth. It is long past the time to take the country’s biggest carbon asset off the chopping block. 

Thomas E. Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy is a professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and previously a senior environmental advisor to the World Bank and the United Nations Foundation.

Originally published in The High Country News. 


Take action to save the Tongass National Forest. 

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is nothing short of magical: it contains centuries-old trees and one-of-a-kind wilderness, home to animals like Alexander Archipelago wolves and bald eagles. Your voice is needed to pressure Congress to defund this clearcutting plan and save the Tongass for our children and grandchildren. 

Please sign and share this petition from the Sierra Club. Help protect the Tongass National Forest: Stop the Clearcutting. Thank you.

Feature Image: Alaskan Wolf by Doug Brown. Insert: Tongass National Forest photo by David Beebe 

Related content: Trump, Congress and Southeast timber, what are the possibilities?

This is where Obama’s hugely ambitious climate policies were headed — before Trump came along

Obama Fossil Fuel Auction Adds 29 Million Tons of Climate Pollution,
Threatens Imperiled Species in Wyoming
 

Ancient Forests, Wolves, Wildlife and The Wrangell Timber Sale 

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a proposed timber sale  on Wrangell Island, which is in the Alexander Archipelago in the Alaska Panhandle of southeastern Alaska. The island is just 30 miles long and 5 to 14 miles wide, contains an abundance of wildlife and is separated from the mainland by the Blake Channel.

The Forest Service released five alternatives in their draft environmental impact statement for the Wrangell Island Project on June 2nd. Its preferred alternative would allow two thirds of the acreage to be selectively harvested and a third clear cut, producing about 65 million board feet, and could build up to 17 miles of new national forest roads, some of which will stay open to the public and about 15 miles of temporary roads. The earliest timber sale would be mid to late summer 2017, and targets the largest, highest-value tree stands, which are generally the areas that are also most ecologically important to the forest and wildlife that live there. It seems that, once again, the Forest Service has disregarded the evidence of the probable impacts of its timber program on wolves, other wildlife populations, salmon, and critical habitat necessary for their survival.
The five alternatives range from about 43 million board feet to 65 million or no timber sale at all.

Buck Lindekugel, an attorney for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), said “Instead of cutting the rest of the old growth that supports a whole variety of uses on Wrangell Island, the Forest Service ought to look at ways of integrating stewardship, restoration activities and supplying timber off the existing road system to the small mills in the area.”

17 miles of new national forest roads!
Already wolf hunting is rife on Wrangell Island with “bag limits” of 5 wolves and portions of the island are subject to Alaska’s infamous “intensive predator management program” encouraging even further reduction of the wolf population. As we have seen on Prince of Wales, logging and roads initiate many harmful effects, including the “overharvest”, ie. poaching, of wolves.

The time has come for Southeast Alaska to no longer rely on the timber industry as an economic driver. The Forest Service should manage the National Forests in Southeast Alaska for a host of public values that support the tourism and fishing economy of today; the driving economic forces are, and continue to be, tourism and recreation.

In your own words, please comment against the proposed Wrangell Timber Sale. Tell the Forest Service that you support “Alternative 1 – which is the “no-action” alternative because in this alternative, none of the proposed activities would occur. Only approved forest management activities not related to the proposed project can and would continue, and road management would be based on the already existing access and travel management plan for Wrangell Island.

Comments can be made via email to comments-alaska-tongass-wrangell@fs.fed.us  with “Wrangell Island Project” in the subject line.

*COMMENTS SHOULD BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN JULY 18, 2016. Comments, including anonymous comments, will be accepted at any time. However, comments posted after the close of the designated comment period (July 18th) may not be able to be given full consideration.

Please also sign this petition:

No logging in places critical for Tongass wildlife and wild salmon, from Alaska Wilderness League.

The Tongass offers the country’s largest remaining swath of ancient forest, as well as an estimated one third of the world’s remaining temperate rainforest. It is far past time for an end to old-growth logging and destruction of habitat essential for endemic species found only in this biologically rich region.

wp-1468782690732.jpg

For additional, in depth, information  please see Wrangell Island Project Draft | Environmental Impact Statement

Related content:

The economic reality of Alaska’s timber industry

Senator should heed council on Tongass, accept compromise

The future of the Tongass Forest lies beyond logging

Copyright © 2016 [COPYRIGHT Intheshadowofthewolf, name and webpage]. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Will we soon see another wave of bird extinctions in the Americas?

  

In the shady recesses of unassuming forest patches in eastern Brazil, bird species are taking their final bows on the global evolutionary stage, and winking out.

These are obscure birds with quaint names: Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner, Pernambuco Pygmy-Owl, Cryptic Treehunter. But their disappearance portends a turning point in a global biodiversity crisis.

Bird extinctions are nothing new. Human activity has already wiped out over a thousand species. But the vast majority of these occurred on oceanic islands. Today, although island species remain disproportionately threatened, we are witnessing a historic shift towards the endangerment of continental species of birds. The Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner, last seen in 2011, looks increasingly like the tip of an iceberg.

This new wave of threats, driven primarily by habitat loss, is deeply troubling because South American forests are home to such a concentration of bird diversity, yet our conservation strategies are still a work in progress.

The trouble with the tropics

To appreciate the significance of today’s looming extinctions in the tropics, we must travel north to the great deciduous forests of the eastern United States, which are haunted by the ghosts of extinctions past. Here, the opportunity to experience the double raps of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, sun-obscuring clouds of Passenger Pigeons, raucous flocks of Carolina Parakeets, and the monotone song of the Bachman’s Warbler is seemingly forever lost.

The blame for these four infamous extinctions has been laid firmly at the door of historic deforestation.

In the early 20th century, the last remaining old-growth fell to the sawmills, almost without exception. Given the ubiquity of the logging, perhaps the most noteworthy feature of this extinction episode is that it did not involve more species.

The European experience was even more striking. The wholesale clearing of Europe’s primeval forest apparently did not cause a single bird extinction. The logical conclusion is that it is very difficult to drive continental birds extinct.

Why then are forest birds beginning to go extinct on mainland South America, home of the largest and most intact tropical forests on Earth?

We must face two equally unsettling conclusions. The first is that forest destruction, particularly in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest, has reached continental-scale proportions, with almost no nook or cranny spared. And the second is that it may not be nearly as difficult to drive extinct in the tropics as in the temperate zone.

Biologists Stuart Pimm and Robert Askins have argued that the eastern USA witnessed few avian extinctions simply because most of its birds have very large geographic ranges. In South America, the situation is dramatically different.

South America is both the evolutionary cradle and current champion of global bird biodiversity; the authoritative regional list totals 3,368 species – around one third of all the word’s birds. Many of these species have small ranges, restricted to particular countries or even to particular mountains or forest types.

Unique features of the life history of tropical birds led to an overly rosy assessment of their future. Author and academic Bjorn Lomborg, for example, claimed that the lack of extinctions following the destruction of Brazil’s Atlantic forest showed that the biodiversity crisis is overblown.

But extinctions may lag far behind forest loss, a phenomenon known as the “extinction debt” which may be paid over hundreds of years.

Tropical birds typically live for longer than their temperate counterparts. Thus, the last pairs of rare species may make their last stand in their fragmented forest redoubts for decades. Indeed, several species have paid this price, and more may already be committed to extinction.

wp-1460161520804.jpg
The last known Alagoas Foliage-gleaner photographed in Pernambuco, Brazil in November 2010 Ciro Albano/NE Brazil Birding

Need to develop strategies

The situation in northeast Brazil is particularly dire.

A few dozen Alagoas Antwrens cling to survival in less than six tiny forest patches. The Alagoas Foliage-gleaner, presented to science along with the Antwren for the first time in the 1980s, was known from only two patches. The last known individual was photographed for the final time in November 2011. We can only guess how many more species will be lost from this region where new species are discovered and others are disappearing on a near-annual basis.

But what of Amazonia, the last great tropical forest wilderness and bastion of tropical biodiversity?

Although deforestation rates have fallen since 2004, there are still grounds for concern. Pressure on existing protected areas from dam-building and mining interests is increasing, and the existing reserve network poorly protects the hardest hit regions.

wp-1460161555114.jpg
Arable fields in eastern Amazonia, former forest haunts of the endemic Belem Curassow, illustrated in the inset to the right of the similar Bare-faced Curassow. This former species was last documented in the wild decades ago. both images Alexander Charles Lees, curassow specimens ©Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Furthermore, Amazonia is divided into different biogeographic regions known as ‘areas of endemism’ that each contain species found nowhere else. Even today, taxonomists continue to recognize new divisions in Amazonian birds, often elevating former subspecies to species status. The Belem Curassow was recently recognized as a species and occurs only in the most deforested part of the Amazon. The last documented record in the wild was over 35 years ago.

Unless a population is discovered in the embattled Gurupi reserve, this species may be the first recorded Amazonian bird extinction. Hot on its heels is the Iquitos Gnatcatcher, known only from a tiny and heavily deforested area of unique stunted forest in Peru. Only six pairs are known, and the bird has proven harder to find every year.

Some of these species need immediate and drastic conservation interventions, but their plight seems to be largely ignored by governments and international environmental groups. Restoring forest around these last fragments is crucial for long-term population viability.

However, for some species captive breeding with an eye to future reintroduction may be the only way forward. Such measures have already saved the Spix’s Macaw and Alagoas Curassow from global extinction – populations of these species exist only in captivity. However, while we have centuries of experience breeding parrots and gamebirds, we know far less about breeding small songbirds.

In fact, most of what we know about managing songbird populations comes from islands, and it is unclear how well this knowledge will translate to the mainland. Island species are adapted to maintain small populations and may be better able to recover from genetic bottlenecks. And, quick fixes such as controlling invasive predators have helped to restore populations. But mainland birds face a different suite of threats, dominated by habitat loss.

Clearly, we must not assume that tropical forest birds will prove as resilient to human activity as their temperate brethren. But though the situation is critical, we also see grounds for optimism.

In Peru, for instance, new endangered species legislation has convened a working group to develop a conservation strategy for the Iquitos Gnatcatcher. In the meantime, a small reserve has been created that protects the few remaining territories. Across the border in Brazil exciting plans are being drawn up to reintroduce the Alagoas Curassow back into the wild.

There is an immediate need to support and expand such actions. The next five to ten years will be critical for many species of South American birds teetering on the brink of extinction.

Feature Image: The Iquitos Gnatcatcher hangs by a thread in small patches of stunted forest near Iquitos, Peru. Only six pairs are known. José Álvarez Alonso, used with permission.

Source

wp-1460161540258.jpg
Species lost from the eastern forests of the U.S. – from left to right: Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and Bachman’s Warbler. Alexander C. Lees ©Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, Author provided