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NFC: Fw: Help Protect South-central Alaska's Roadless Rivers!

Help Protect South-central Alaska's Roadless Rivers!
Comment Deadline:  December 14, 2000

Visit http://amriversaction.ctsg.com/index.asp?step=2&item=150 to 
take action today!

There are just a few days left to urge the Forest Service to protect 
the spectacular free-flowing rivers of southeastern Alaska's Chugach 
National Forest as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers 
and Wilderness Systems. The Service is revising its 10-15 year 
management plan for the region, which will determine the level of 
protection afforded these pristine rivers until Congress decides 
whether or not to provide them permanent protection as wild and 
scenic rivers. The final plan will also have a strong influence on 
whether or not Congress decides to pass legislation to officially 
designate them as wild and scenic rivers.

In its draft management plan, the Forest Service neglects several 
outstanding rivers, in particular those of the Kenai Peninsula and 
the Copper River Basin, for recommendation as wild and scenic rivers 
and/or wilderness. These rivers and others in the region are critical 
to the health of the Alaska rainforest. They provide essential 
habitat for salmon, which are the basis of the region's commercial 
and sportfishing economies, and habitat and migration corridors for 
wildlife such as brown and black bear. The Chugach National Forest 
will likely be one of two National Forests exempted from a national 
policy on roadless areas, therefore the recommendations put forth in 
the Plan are critical to ensuring these rivers and their many 
outstandingly remarkable values are protected. 

Which rivers need wild and scenic river protection?
The four rivers in the Kenai Peninsula/Turnagain Arm region- the 
Twentymile River System, Snow River, Nellie Juan River, and Upper 
Russian River.. The Forest Service found these rivers eligible for 
Wild designation through the inventory process called for by the Wild 
and Scenic Rivers Act but did not recommend Wild designation. This 
portion of Chugach National Forest is on the road corridor, making it 
the most heavily populated, heavily used, and heavily threatened area 
of the forest. 

Sixmile Creek. This river, found eligible for scenic river 
protection, is very popular with whitewater enthusiasts and is 
accessible by road in numerous places.  

Seattle Creek and Resurrection River. The Forest Service neglected to 
study these two remarkable rivers for potential designation as wild 
and scenic rivers. Seattle Creek, located in a heavily forested 
valley, is the only remaining 100% roadless river to drain into 
Turnagain Arm. Resurrection River, which drains into Resurrection 
Bay, is roadless above Exit Glacier Bridge and contains critical 
brown bear habitat and old growth rainforest.    

The rivers in the Copper River Delta/Cordova region. The Bering 
River, Copper River, Martin River, Bering and Martin Lakes, and 
Martin River Slough are all eligible for Wild designation, but the 
Forest Service draft plan fails to recommend such a designation. All 
provide critical fish and migratory waterfowl habitat and should be 
protected as wild rivers. To prevent the threat of road building the 
entire region should be recommended for wilderness designation.

Visit http://amriversaction.ctsg.com/index.asp?step=2&item=150 to 
help save roadless rivers in southcentral Alaska! Take Action Now!

For more information on Wild and Scenic Rivers, visit