Old Growth Logging’s last stand?

Clearcutting ancient trees in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest makes little sense—ecologically, climatically, even economically. So why is it so hard to stop?

IMG_8414This feature originally appeared in BioGraphic Dec. 20, 2016

If you’ve paid attention to the conservation battles fought in the Lower 48 over the past couple of decades, you might have thought nobody in the United States was still cutting down old-growth forests—at least not on public lands. But all of Southeast Alaska’s sawmills survive on a diet of ancient trees from the 16.7-million-acre Tongass National Forest. It’s the last national forest in the country with an industrial old-growth clearcutting program. Now, the Forest Service is trying to dial that back. More…