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E-M:/ Alaska Rainforest Slide Show

Enviro-Mich message from Smileysmlc@aol.com

Monday, June 2nd, 7 p.m.
St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church
1123 Second Street, Wyandotte 
(use www.mapquest.com for a map and directions)

Brian McNitt, a 20-year-old resident of Southeast Alaska is on a mission to 
educate Michigan citizens about the Alaska rainforest.  He will speak locally 
at 7 p.m. Monday, June 2nd, at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 1123 Second 
Street, Wyandotte.  In this special scheduled Detroit Audubon Society program, 
McNitt will bring his message about the rainforest and why it is crucial that 
people “in the lower-48” understand that they have a stake in what happens in 
the forest he calls home.

McNitt is sharing his slide show presentation around Michigan during June.  
Offering stunning photographs taken by Alaskans, the slideshow highlights both 
the rare beauty and the systematic destruction of the world’s last great 
temperate rainforest which is largely made up of the Tongass and the Chugach 
National Forests in Alaska—the nation’s two largest national forests.

Stretching for hundreds of miles along Alaska’s southern coastline, these 
publicly-owned lands contain centuries-old spruce and hemlock trees that grow to 
heights of 200 feet.  The dense forest canopy shelters one of the rarest 
ecosystems on earth—a temperate rainforest, home to healthy populations of whales, 
wolves, deer, all five species of Pacific salmon, and the world’s largest 
population of grizzly bears and bald eagles.  The forest also provides important 
resources for local Alaska communities and Natives, who depend on the lands and 
waters for their livelihoods.

“These incomparable rainforest lands belong to all of us, the American 
people,” said Kristi Kashmer, Midwest Organizer for the Alaska Coalition.  “It’s now 
more important than ever that we recognize our responsibility in protecting 
some of the wettest, wildest tracts of forest left in America.”  

Sadly, America’s rainforest is under threat.  For decades, the American 
taxpayer has subsidized the logging industry in the Tongass.  Over the last 5 
decades, 70 per cent of the largest and oldest trees in the Tongass have been 
clearcut—costing taxpayers on the average of more than $30 million a year.

Recent actions by Congress and the Forest Service continue to put the future 
of the rainforest in jeopardy.  Brian will inform those in attendance of 
opportunities that are available to them to support protection of Alaska’s forest 
over clearcut logging.

“The Alaska Rainforest is a spectacular place,” added Kashmer.  “It seems 
foolish and shortsighted to continue to waste tax dollars, knowing that it will 
do irreversible damage to a priceless national treasure.”

The Alaska Coalition, a national organization with over 600 member groups 
nationwide, sponsors presentations of similar slideshows across the country to 
educate people about America’s rainforest.  

The Detroit Audubon Society, founded in 1939, is Southeast Michigan’s oldest 
and largest conservation organization, dedicated to environmental education, 
environmental action, research and promoting enjoyment of the natural world, 
with a special emphasis on birds.  Birds provide a point of departure for 
understanding of and care for all of nature.

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