One of the privileges of living in Southcentral Alaska is the proximity to Prince William Sound. At the heart of the Chugach National Forest, the Sound is a vast landscape of remote islands, ancient rainforest, wild salmon and towering glaciers and mountains. It is a recreational and ecological jewel and an economic engine for the region.
Today, as the Chugach National Forest revises its management plan, those who love the Sound have an important opportunity to contribute to its care. The revision now underway only occurs every 15 years, so today’s decisions have lasting impact.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed plan would significantly weaken the Sound's protections that have been in place for over a generation. With vague language, it creates confusion about area management. This comes as the agency's reports state the area faces increased pressure and would benefit from clearer management. It also contradicts a 1994 Exxon Valdez oil spill recovery plan's goals to protect the area’s habitat, conservation, and wilderness values.
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