Testimonials


Dave Clark (Juneau Seiner, F/V Quandary)
“I discovered Southeast Alaska during my summer breaks, while attending college in Ohio. After a few seasons of working in canneries in Petersburg, Alaska, I was lucky enough to find a position on a purse seiner. For the past 16 years, I haven’t missed a summer of commercial fishing for salmon. Southeast Alaska is now my home and I’m excited to raise my family in such a beautiful region. The Tongass National Forest is a vast ecosystem that is unparalleled in its abundance of rich natural resources. The Tongass 77 would protect nearly 2 million acres of the region’s prime salmon habitat for current and future generations. I support this proposal because it will help ensure that my family, and so many other fishing families, continue to have an incredible lifestyle built around sustainably harvesting healthy, wild seafood from the pristine waters of Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest.”


Renee Warr (Co-owner, Taku River Reds, Premier Salmon Supplier)
“As someone who values high-quality wild salmon and makes their living from it, I support the Tongass 77 because it puts salmon first. Low-impact activities can still take place in the Tongass 77 watersheds if Congress enacts this legislation. But this would make sure that salmon are given top-priority in any management decisions made in these special places.”
 


Scott May, (Yacht Chef, Naturalist, Sport Fisherman)
“Our clients are always blown away by how beautiful and wild Southeast Alaska is and how salmon in so many ways are the iconic species of this rugged place. I want Congress to protect these watersheds and fish by passing Tongass 77 legislation. This campaign is all about getting our lawmakers to put in place durable, permanent safeguards for the Tongass’ priceless wild salmon, its old-growth forest watersheds that are huge fish nurseries, its free-flowing rivers, and its clean water. The Tongass 77 is about treating this place and these salmon with the respect they so greatly deserve. That’s an American value we should all be able to agree upon.”


Jev Shelton, (Juneau Gillnetter, F/V Kirsten Anna)
“Salmon populations in many places are listed as endangered species or are declining, to the point of being fractions of their historical levels. In Southeast Alaska, they’re abundant, with an average 48 million salmon harvested carefully and sustainably every year. This is one of nature’s gifts and it should never be taken for granted. Maintaining the freshwater habitat that sustain these salmon runs must be priority number one. That’s what the Tongass 77 is about and that’s why I support it and urge you to do so as well.”


Brad Elfers (Owner, Alaska Fly Fishing Goods)
“I grew up in the Puget Sound region. As a kid I used to listen to the old timers talk about days gone by and how great the salmon and trout fishing in the area used to be. By that time, the fishing was a shadow of what it had been. There was a real profound sense of loss in their voices and I always wished — even as a young kid — that I could have seen the area the way it had been – in its full glory; streams full of salmon and trout, bears, deer and wildlife all tuned into these runs. It must have been amazing. Nobody wanted to lose all those things. But without watershed-scale protection, little by little, resource development, housing sprawl, over fishing, and a host of other urban issues, chipped away at wild salmon and trout. If we are serious about keeping wild salmon and trout in Southeast Alaska, we have to plan for it. That’s why I support the Tongass 77.”


Len “Pete” Peterson (Co-owner, Taku River Reds, Premier Salmon Supplier)
“The Tongass 77 is common-sense legislation for Southeast Alaska. This remarkable place is crisscrossed by nearly 18,000 miles of salmon-filled rivers, lakes and streams. Our salmon runs are healthy, but could be strengthened by restoring damaged watersheds and through the long-term protection of fish habitat. I want to do everything I can to ensure that my children and grandchildren get to carry on our family tradition of commercial and sport fishing. The Tongass 77 goes a long way to making sure that will happen.”


Bruce Wallace, (Juneau Seiner, VP of United Fishermen of Alaska)
“While timber has been the primary focus, salmon are becoming a top priority of the Forest Service, which manages the Tongass. As times change so does the economic focus of the forest. To protect our outstanding salmon nurseries and the economic engine they drive, a congressional act for watershed-scale protection, such as the Tongass 77, is something I support. Such legislation, which ensures a sustainable environment in Southeast Alaska, is of significant importance to the livelihood of my industry.”


Clint Cropper, (Yacht Captain, Sport Fisherman)
“The Tongass is a world-class tourist destination with over one million people coming to visit every summer. They don’t come here to see mining operations or clear-cuts. They come to see the bears, eagles, wolves, whales and all the other species we’re so fortunate to have in abundance on the Tongass and its surrounding islands and waterways. They visit to experience the Tongass’ wild salmon – whether grilled on a plate or pulled fresh from the water on a fly. The Tongass 77 is proactive, common-sense solution to make sure that the natural riches these watersheds provide are sustained for visitors and locals, now and well into the future.”


Eric Jordan, (Sitka Troller, F/V I Gotta)
“I’m a lifelong Southeast Alaska salmon troller. I’ve spent a lifetime walking up the streams of Southeast Alaska trout fishing, subsistence salmon fishing, and observing wildlife. I know how important the habitat is to the production of salmon and the protection of wildlife in Southeast Alaska. And along the way, I learned that these watersheds are critical to salmon production and wildlife. I’m all in support of protecting the Tongass 77 watersheds.”


Matt Lawrie (Sitka Troller, F/V Born Again)
“As a lifelong Sitka resident and second generation salmon fisherman, I’m proud of our region’s salmon industry. I love the incredible natural conditions that make Southeast Alaska home to some of the world’s most productive salmon habitat. The Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska produces approximately 70 percent of all wild salmon harvested from our country’s national forests, and accounts for roughly 24 percent of ours state’s overall salmon production. This place has thousands upon thousands of miles of salmon-bearing rivers and creeks flowing through it and is one of the few places in the world where wild salmon still thrive and where fishermen can make a living sustainably harvesting those salmon. Doesn’t it stand to reason that we should do all we can to keep this forest and its salmon runs intact? I’m supporting the Tongass 77 because I want the Southeast Alaska salmon industry to continue to thrive and with it all the benefits it brings to my family and many others.”


Winston Warr (co-owner, Taku River Reds, Premier Salmon Supplier)
“I believe that protecting our natural environment is key to providing jobs and steady income to my community and the many others scattered throughout this isolated region of the United States. People need to understand that the Tongass 77 isn’t a land grab or some kind of ‘lock up.’ The way I look at it, it’s a way to ensure that the world-class salmon runs we have in this part of the world are ‘locked in’ for future generations.”