Posted on 03 June 2011.
It’s music to our ears. A team of documentary filmmakers–on behalf of the acoustic guitar industry–is advocating for stronger protections of ancient, or old-growth, trees in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.
Nearly every acoustic guitar, the filmmakers said, started as a seedling in this coastal temperate rainforest–the largest of its kind in the world. Luthiers fashion guitars out of old Sitka spruce trees. But logging of the species–mainly to meet construction demand overseas–has reached a fever pitch and threatens to wipe out guitar-quality Sitka spruce in less than a decade, they said.
Related: Court protects 2.3 million acres of old-growth forests.
Lynx depend on old-growth forests for survival.
“Trees that can reach up to 1,000 years old and twice the height of the Statue of Liberty should be protected and not made into door frames,” they said in an email statement. “The process of making acoustic guitars has remained unchanged for hundreds of years, but a critical shortage of ‘musicwood’ from over-logged forests threatens to silence the industry.”
Get Involved: Learn how you can support the “Musicwood” documentary.
We’re big music fans here at Defenders, but it’s wildlife and wild places that we care most about. Imperiled wildlife, like the lynx, depend on old-growth forests for survival.
These ancient forests and habitats need our help. And we are encouraged to see folks from the acoustic guitar industry join the chorus of voices calling for stronger protections for old-growth forest.
Learn more about what Defenders is doing to protect wildlife in national forests.
Posted in Alaska, Canada Lynx, Features, Public Lands, Video
Posted on 17 March 2011.
Tongass National Forest, Alaska
A federal district court in Alaska has stopped the chainsaws from chewing up some 2.3 million acres of ancient trees in the Tongass National Forest. Old-growth forests have some of the best habitats for wildlife and offer a snapshot of how the natural world operates when people are not behind the wheel.
Meanwhile, the court’s ruling comes as the Obama administration is holding a series of public forums on its proposed plan for how to manage all 155 national forests (and 20 grasslands) across the country.
Defenders was among the first conservation groups to weigh in on the National Forest Management Act draft rule, highlighting how the proposal weakens long-standing wildlife protections on our nation’s forests.
And we’re doing a good job getting the message out. The New York Times on Tuesday editorialized on the forest-planning rule.
And we’re doing a good job getting the message out. The New York Times on Tuesday editorialized on the forest-planning rule, writing: “The Obama administration’s proposed rules improve on the Bush rules and are full of high-minded promises about maintaining “viable” animal populations. But they are disappointingly vague on the question of how — and how often — the biological diversity of any particular forest is to be measured and what actions are to be taken to ensure its survival.
Brown bears call the Tongass home.
“The net result is to give too much discretion to individual forest managers and not nearly enough say to scientists. This is dangerous because, over the years, forest managers have been easily influenced by timber companies and local politicians whose main interest is to increase the timber harvest.”
What Defenders Is Doing
As the Obama administration holds public forums across the country over the next several weeks, Defenders will be urging federal officials to step up protections for wildlife in the final rule through our written comments, attending the public meetings, reaching out to the press, and with the help of our supporters and activists.
Don’t let the Obama administration turn back the clock for our wildlife. Urge federal officials to stand up for wildlife protections in our national forests.
Posted in Alaska, Features, Public Lands