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Tongass National Forest

Tongass National Forest

“On 28 march, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago wolves may need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of unsustainable logging in the Tongass National Forest and elsewhere in southwest Alaska. The agency is now conducting an in-depth status review of that rare subspecies of gray wolf which lives only in the region’s old-growth forests.” from the Center for Biological Diversity, http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_release/2014/alexander-archipelago During the year 2013, the Alaska Board of Game authorized killing all of the wolves in two ares of the Tongass because habitat loss had reduced deer numbers. Therefore, wolves and human hunters were competing for deer. Also, the Alexander Archipelago wolves den in the root systems of very large trees. With a long history of more than 60-years of clearcut logging in the Tongass forest region and in state-owned lands, much of the wolf’s habitat has been destroyed. Meanwhile, the Forest Service has not adequately implemented lawful standards which are already in place for protecting the wolf population in that unique environment. Numerous roads being built into the area are making the wolves increasingly vulnerable to hunters and trappers, and the unique primeval forest itself is being decimated. The Alexander Archipelago wolf is one of Alaska’s most fascinating species and is deserving of total protection, as is this last remnant of old-growth rain-forest.

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