Tongass, Second Edition: Pulp Politics and the Fight for the Alaska Rain Forest

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9780870710568: Tongass, Second Edition: Pulp Politics and the Fight for the Alaska Rain Forest
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After World War II, the U.S. government lured two pulp companies to Southeast Alaska by promising them low-cost timber from the Tongass National Forest, the planet's largest coastal temperate rain forest. The mills brought jobs and growth to a sparsely settled region. They also wreaked ecological havoc and created a timber industry that broke labor unions, drove competitors out of business, and controlled politicians and the U.S. Forest Service. It took a national campaign, led by grassroots environmentalists, to bring sanity and sustainability to management of the Tongass.
In her account of Alaska's era of pulp, Durbin draws on the voices of the people most affected: independent loggers who fought back when the pulp companies conspired to drive them out of business, courageous biologists who warned that logging was destroying critical fish and wildlife habitat, Tlingit Indians who saw their traditional hunting grounds vanish, young activists and lawyers who found their lives transformed by the battle for the Alaska rain forest.

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Review:

The largest temperate rainforest on the planet and home to grizzly bears, deer, moose, salmon, eagles, and myriad Native American tribes, the Tongass once covered southeast Alaska like a vibrant green carpet. That carpet has seen better days. In the 1950s, with sweetheart deals that provided seemingly limitless volumes of timber at well below market cost, the U.S. government enticed two pulp companies to set up shop there. The federal legislation opened up the country's largest national forest to massive industrial clear-cutting; it also set the stage for a bare-knuckles environmental battle that would reach its apex near the end of the century and become a template for future skirmishes.

A former environmental journalist for the Portland Oregonian, Durbin tells the story of the Tongass with a crime reporter's eye for deadly facts--which will fascinate anyone with an interest in the subject, particularly Alaskans and environmentalists. She details the collusion between the two pulp mills to keep prices down and small loggers squeezed; the illegal pollutant dumping; the union-busting; the U.S. Forest Service's bureaucratic myopia; the thousands of miles of logging roads punched through formerly pristine watersheds; and the destruction of once-prolific salmon streams and big-game habitat in a region renowned for its hunting and fishing. Durbin is at her best, though, unraveling the complex political processes behind the timber wars, both at the national level and the local, as well as exposing the backroom dealmaking that goes on between elected officials, corporate leaders, and activists. Perhaps most compelling is the subplot of coalition-building among fledgling enviro groups that spans decades, especially the progress of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), founded in Juneau in the late '60s. Beginning as a tiny assortment of part-time, longhaired activists with nary a cent, SEACC eventually sends its own lobbyists to Washington. By the late 1980s, due largely to SEACC's tireless work, a New York Times editorial is calling the federally subsidized logging on the Tongass "so wrongheaded it's likely to provoke profanity from any fair-minded person," and Sports Illustrated is covering the story with an article entitled "Forest Service Follies." Through all this the author's sympathies are clear: significant portions of the Tongass, once a magnificent, sprawling ancient forest of spruce and hemlock, have been largely reduced to newspaper pulp--and, incredibly, at a loss to U.S. taxpayers. --Langdon Cook

About the Author:

Kathic Durbin works as an investigative reporter at The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington.

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9780870714665: Tongass: Pulp Politics and the Fight for the Alaska Rain Forest

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ISBN 10:  087071466X ISBN 13:  9780870714665
Publisher: Oregon State Univ Pr, 1999
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Book Description Oregon State University, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. Set in Alaska's coastal rain forest, Tongass is a story by turns dismaying and inspiring, of greed, courage, bare-knuckles politics, and the fate of a remote, wild, beautiful land. After World War II, the U.S. government lured two pulp companies to Southeast Alaska by promising them low-cost timber from the Tongass National Forest, the planet's largest coastal temperate rain forest. The mills bought jobs and growth to a sparsly settled region. They also wreaked ecological havoc and created a timber industry that broke labor unions, drove competitors out of business, and controlled politicians and the U.S. Forest Service. It took a national compaign, led by grassroots environmentalists, to bring sanity an sustainability to management of the Tongass. In her insighful account of Alaska's era of pulp, award-winning jounalist Kathie Durbin draws on the voices of the people most affected: independent loggers who fought back when the pulp companies conspired to drive them out of business; courageous biologists who warned that logging was destroying critical fish and wildlife habital; Tlingit Indians who saw their traditional hunting grounds vanish; young activists and lawyers who found their lives trasformed by the battle for the Alaska rain forest. In this new edition, Durbin updates the story of the Tongass with a chapter describing political and economic development since 1999. Among the changes; a dramatic growth in cruise ship toursim, a new governor's plan for a system of roads and bridges to link remote Southeast Alaska communities, and a renewed push by the Forest Service under a timber-friendly administration in Washington, D.C., to open vast roadless areas to logging. Yet the fightfor the Alaska rain forest is becoming a broader movement as appreciation for the true value of the regions's wilderness grows. Seller Inventory # BZV9780870710568

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Book Description Oregon State University, United States, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. Set in Alaska's coastal rain forest, Tongass is a story by turns dismaying and inspiring, of greed, courage, bare-knuckles politics, and the fate of a remote, wild, beautiful land. After World War II, the U.S. government lured two pulp companies to Southeast Alaska by promising them low-cost timber from the Tongass National Forest, the planet's largest coastal temperate rain forest. The mills bought jobs and growth to a sparsly settled region. They also wreaked ecological havoc and created a timber industry that broke labor unions, drove competitors out of business, and controlled politicians and the U.S. Forest Service. It took a national compaign, led by grassroots environmentalists, to bring sanity an sustainability to management of the Tongass. In her insighful account of Alaska's era of pulp, award-winning jounalist Kathie Durbin draws on the voices of the people most affected: independent loggers who fought back when the pulp companies conspired to drive them out of business; courageous biologists who warned that logging was destroying critical fish and wildlife habital; Tlingit Indians who saw their traditional hunting grounds vanish; young activists and lawyers who found their lives trasformed by the battle for the Alaska rain forest. In this new edition, Durbin updates the story of the Tongass with a chapter describing political and economic development since 1999. Among the changes; a dramatic growth in cruise ship toursim, a new governor's plan for a system of roads and bridges to link remote Southeast Alaska communities, and a renewed push by the Forest Service under a timber-friendly administration in Washington, D.C., to open vast roadless areas to logging. Yet the fightfor the Alaska rain forest is becoming a broader movement as appreciation for the true value of the regions's wilderness grows. Seller Inventory # BZV9780870710568

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Book Description Oregon State University Press. Softcover. Condition: New. Second Edition. 352 pages. Softcover. New book. NATURE. The fate of the Tongass National Forest is one of today's most closely watched environmental issues. Praised by Publishers Weekly as a "blow-by-blow account of a messy controversy and an impressive example of thorough journalism," Kathie Durbin's acclaimed volume is now available in an expanded edition that updates the story of this remote, wild, beautiful land. After World War II, the U.S. government lured two pulp companies to Southeast Alaska by promising them low-cost timber from the Tongass National Forest, the planet's largest coastal temperate rain forest. The mills brought jobs and growth to a sparsely settled region. They also wreaked ecological havoc and created a timber industry that broke labor unions, drove competitors out of business, and controlled politicians and the U.S. Forest Service. It took a national campaign, led by grassroots environmentalists, to bring sanity and sustainability to management of the Tongass. In her insightful account of Alaska's era of pulp, Durbin draws on the voices of the people most affected: independent loggers who fought back when the pulp companies conspired to drive them out of business; courageous biologists who warned that logging was destroying critical fish and wildlife habitat; Tlingit Indians who saw their traditional hunting grounds vanish; young activists and lawyers who found their lives transformed by the battle for the Alaska rain forest. In this new edition, Durbin updates the story of the Tongass with a new chapter describing political and economic developments since 1999. Among the changes: a dramatic growth in cruise ship tourism, a new governor's plan for a system of roads and bridges to link remote Southeast Alaska communities, and a renewed push by the Forest Service under a timber-friendly administration in Washington, D.C., to open vast roadless areas to logging. Yet the fight for the Alaska rain forest is becoming a broader movement as appreciation for the true value of the region's wilderness grows. (Key Words: Nature, Forestry, Rain Forest, Tongass, Lumber, Pulp, Wildlife Habitat, Tlingit Indians, Alaska). book. Seller Inventory # 78205X1

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