Monday, June 16, 2014

Countdown to Wilderness

It's countdown week!  Tying up major JWD's (jobs with deadlines) and gathering the gear for my Tongass artist residency adventure.  

Here are some fun facts about where I'm heading;  The Tongass National Forest, at 17 million acres, takes up most of SE Alaska.  It is a temperate rainforest, the earth's largest still remaining somewhat intact.  It encompasses coastal mountains, glaciers, fjords and islands of the Alexander Archipelago.  Approx. 75,000 people live here, most in cities like Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Ketchikan.  Tlingit, Kaigani Haida and Tsimshian native groups have a long history in the region.  (The name, Tongass, comes from one of the groups of Tlingit people that live near Ketchikan.) 

It's the biggest managed US forest and soooo there's rather a lot of politics involved.  This is all I'm gonna say about that… I believe that it is time for all old growth forest to be listed as endangered and off limits to logging.  Beyond that, I'm much more interested in the natural history and the intrinsic value of the place as it is, without being muggled up, so that's what I'll be focused on.  

I will be visiting a very small portion of this large ecoregion, first stop Petersburg,  then by float plane another 50 miles SW to Tebenkof Bay Wilderness on Kuiu Island in the Alexander Archipelago.

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