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‘The glory days of logging the Tongass are long over. Only a small percentage of trees in its old-growth forest are highly valuable, meaning clear-cut loggers would have to churn through a ton of low-value trees to get to the good stuff. The lumber is used for homebuilding in Asia, door and window framing in the Lower 48, and, to a small degree, high-end musical instruments such as Steinway pianos and Fender guitars.
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Besides that, logging operations in the Tongass are propped up by hefty subsidies from the federal government. The U.S. Forest Service has lost about $600 million on road building and timber sales in the Tongass, according to an October report by the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense. That nets out to an average of $30 million per year over 20 years. The Forest Service must follow strict protocols for approving timber sales, which include inventorying the trees for harvest, and then covering contracting costs for maintaining roads. The report stated that rolling back the Roadless Rule would only increase those losses in the Tongass.
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The Forest Service disputes that report, but even so, the agency’s job isn’t to turn a profit, says Chris French, deputy chief of the Forest Service. 'If you look at the work we do across the agency, the broader mission, we’re not going to be doing timber sales that are necessarily always going to be making money,' he says. 'What we’re trying to do is spur job creation.'
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Environmental regulations make it expensive for the operators too. But the main cost is getting equipment to the high-value trees. Road building in this steep, unforgiving country costs more than $200,000 per mile. And even in the plane-building days of WWII, logging companies operated at a loss. Their postwar debts were eventually forgiven by the federal government.
‘The glory days of logging the Tongass are long over. Only a small percentage of trees in its old-growth forest are highly valuable, meaning clear-cut loggers would have to churn through a ton of low-value trees to get to the good stuff. The lumber is used for homebuilding in Asia, door and window framing in the Lower 48, and, to a small degree, high-end musical instruments such as Steinway pianos and Fender guitars. - Besides that, logging operations in the Tongass are propped up by hefty subsidies from the federal government. The U.S. Forest Service has lost about $600 million on road building and timber sales in the Tongass, according to an October report by the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense. That nets out to an average of $30 million per year over 20 years. The Forest Service must follow strict protocols for approving timber sales, which include inventorying the trees for harvest, and then covering contracting costs for maintaining roads. The report stated that rolling back the Roadless Rule would only increase those losses in the Tongass. - The Forest Service disputes that report, but even so, the agency’s job isn’t to turn a profit, says Chris French, deputy chief of the Forest Service. 'If you look at the work we do across the agency, the broader mission, we’re not going to be doing timber sales that are necessarily always going to be making money,' he says. 'What we’re trying to do is spur job creation.' - Environmental regulations make it expensive for the operators too. But the main cost is getting equipment to the high-value trees. Road building in this steep, unforgiving country costs more than $200,000 per mile. And even in the plane-building days of WWII, logging companies operated at a loss. Their postwar debts were eventually forgiven by the federal government." - Hit the link in profile to read the entire report from @alexrobinson_mn on why the @u.s.forestservice is trying to roll back protections on the #tongassnationalforest and why that’s a bad idea for habitat, wildlife, and the local economy. Photographs by @ian_allen #tongass #keepitpublic #conservation #alaska #roadlessrule #hunting #fishing
"We end up catching a pile of feisty Dolly Varden, which look like trout but belong to the char family. They remind me of brookies but bigger—our largest fish runs 20-plus inches. I’m casting a single salmon-egg bead below a float, tossing it in above a pool, and then letting it drift through. When the float stops, I set the hook and fight another Dolly to hand. The day before, in a stream just a few miles north, I caught migrating coho on a little in-line spinner. The stream was only 10 yards wide, and I could see the red monsters lurking below the surface. When I finally hooked a coho, a male with a crazy long kype jaw, the fish ripped upstream and then went airborne. I managed to shout “Holy—” before he cannonballed back into the water and the fight continued. Still, @mhieronymus49 contends that these rivers are far from pristine. - ‘Someone from the Lower 48 would come out here and catch a bunch of fish—and probably bigger fish than they’d find at home—and think it’s great,’ @mhieronymus49 says. ‘But I’m like, why are there not more cutthroats in this creek? Where are the steelhead? Roads altered this river, and I don’t think we even fully understand the effects.’” - Hit the link in profile to read the full story from editor-in-chief @alexrobinson_mn on why the @u.s.forestservice wants to roll back protections on the #tongassnationalforest and why that's a bad (and expensive) idea for the habitat, wildlife, and humans who thrive there. Photograph of the dolly by @ian_allen #outdoorlifemagazine #conservation #keepitpublic #fishing #alaska #huntingandfishing #anglers #publicland #tongass
Five years ago, a dozen of us, sweating, hoarse, and a little buzzed following another successful National Wild Turkey Federation fundraising banquet, looked back on our accomplishments.

We had raised about $15,000 that night, money flowing in increments of $10 and $20 from our neighbors playing games of chance to win guns and wildlife art framed in China. For our hometown of Glasgow, Montana, population 3,300 people, that’s a lot of money, but that night in the St. Raphael’s Catholic Church gym wasn’t unique. Almost every year in the decade that we hosted a NWTF banquet, we Hi-Line Gobblers raked in thousands of dollars, almost all of it from people who had never hunted or even heard a wild turkey. The core group of us volunteers—plus an assortment of children, spouses, and itinerant friends—was damned good at fundraising. It helped that we had fun working together and seeing the fruit of a kick-ass banquet.

We also had fun promoting the missions of the National Wild Turkey Federation: hosting field days for kids, skill camps for women, helping state wildlife technicians trap and move turkeys from areas with surplus birds to areas like ours with anemic populations. Over the years, our work restored turkeys along the Milk River, sent kids to college, and perpetuated the holy trinity of critter conservation: access, habitat, and maintenance of a national political lobbyist. But we also recognized that part of the bargain was that most of the money we raised in our kick-ass banquets would go toward paying for our banquet art and guns and fund work of the NWTF elsewhere in the state and nation.

Year after year, though, that bargain felt less and less equitable, until our discontent bubbled to the surface that night 5 years ago.
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Hit the link in profile to keep reading the first of a four-part series on Hunting Editor @aemckean ‘s efforts to ditch the national conservation organization banquets and start an effective local group in his hometown of Glasgow, Montana. | Photograph by @johnhafnerphoto #hunting #deerhunting #turkeyhunting #hunters #conservation
Five years ago, a dozen of us, sweating, hoarse, and a little buzzed following another successful National Wild Turkey Federation fundraising banquet, looked back on our accomplishments. We had raised about $15,000 that night, money flowing in increments of $10 and $20 from our neighbors playing games of chance to win guns and wildlife art framed in China. For our hometown of Glasgow, Montana, population 3,300 people, that’s a lot of money, but that night in the St. Raphael’s Catholic Church gym wasn’t unique. Almost every year in the decade that we hosted a NWTF banquet, we Hi-Line Gobblers raked in thousands of dollars, almost all of it from people who had never hunted or even heard a wild turkey. The core group of us volunteers—plus an assortment of children, spouses, and itinerant friends—was damned good at fundraising. It helped that we had fun working together and seeing the fruit of a kick-ass banquet. We also had fun promoting the missions of the National Wild Turkey Federation: hosting field days for kids, skill camps for women, helping state wildlife technicians trap and move turkeys from areas with surplus birds to areas like ours with anemic populations. Over the years, our work restored turkeys along the Milk River, sent kids to college, and perpetuated the holy trinity of critter conservation: access, habitat, and maintenance of a national political lobbyist. But we also recognized that part of the bargain was that most of the money we raised in our kick-ass banquets would go toward paying for our banquet art and guns and fund work of the NWTF elsewhere in the state and nation. Year after year, though, that bargain felt less and less equitable, until our discontent bubbled to the surface that night 5 years ago. - Hit the link in profile to keep reading the first of a four-part series on Hunting Editor @aemckean ‘s efforts to ditch the national conservation organization banquets and start an effective local group in his hometown of Glasgow, Montana. | Photograph by @johnhafnerphoto #hunting #deerhunting #turkeyhunting #hunters #conservation