Most people think of the Winter Solstice as the darkest day of the year. We like to think of it as the first day of winter, when light ushers in a new season. This year, we’re also welcoming a new decade. As we approach the Winter Solstice, consider joining the movement to Keep Winter Wild.
This holiday season, consider making a gift to winter. We have two ways you can give: A membership to Winter Wildlands Alliance or a donation made through Patagonia’s Action Works Page.
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed to exempt the Tongass from the Roadless Rule, which would open a vital carbon sink to logging and mining. The deadline for public comment is December 17.
The Tongass is the largest national forest in the United States—17 million acres of temperate rainforest that stretches down the panhandle in Southeast Alaska. Home to old growth trees and tons of wildlife, including whales, salmon, bears, and bald eagles, the Tongass also holds tremendous value for carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation. The U.S. Forest Service estimates the Tongass stores 10 to 12 percent of the total carbon captured by America’s national forests.
Right now, the U.S. Forest Service has proposed exempting the entire Tongass National Forest from the Roadless Rule. Why does this matter? The Roadless Rule is an important tool that protects wild landscapes on U.S. Forest Service lands. The proposal would open the world’s largest remaining temperate rainforest—a critical resource in the fight against climate change—to logging. For reasons of conservation, recreation, and climate action, we can’t let this happen.
For the next month, as time approaches the Winter Solstice, we’re making it a point to revel in the moments between seasons. It might be sunny and warm, or dark and cold, or raining or sleeting or hailing or snowing, and busy as can be with the holidays. To stay sane, we’ll be going outside and we hope you’ll join us.
Since the Forest Service published a Proposed Action in late September that outlines a preliminary management plan for all types of backcountry winter recreation on public lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin, we’ve been hearing from all sides that their proposal is far from perfect.
Now, the Forest Service is asking for your input on how to make it better for everyone. Submit your comment directly to the Forest Service. The deadline for public comment on the Proposed Action for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is December 9th.
At an open house for over-snow vehicle planning in Tahoe last week, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais said this is just the start of the process. Right now, we are consulting with our local partners in Tahoe—Snowlands Network and the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance. And as we write our comments in response to the Forest Service’s proposed action, we encourage you to do the same.
Check out this beautiful film by one of our grassroots groups, Friends of Plumas Wilderness. “Visions of the Lost Sierra” is about the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork Feather River. The Middle Fork was one of the first eight rivers in the country protected by Congress through the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act in 1968.
Together as an outdoor community, we are powerful, and we have a responsibility to stand up to protect public lands and waters. We will not be divided. Together we can achieve our vision of a system of protected public lands that works for everyone, not just a handful of entrenched interests.