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Illustration: Walker Cahall
Illustration: Walker Cahall

Endangered Spaces: Prince of Wales

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Jan 26, 2018 January 26, 2018

“It’s like being caught in a spiderweb. You’ll find yourself pushing with every part of your body, and no part of your body will be able to move. You’re totally trapped by–held by plants,” says Elsa Sebastian, describing what it’s like to bushwhack through a 25-year old clear cut in Southeast Alaska. It’s something the lady fisherman did a lot of this past summer in an effort to defend the remaining old growth on her home island, Prince of Wales.

In January of 2017, Alaska Representative Don Young introduced a bill that would transfer up to two million acres of the Tongass National Forest to the State of Alaska for timber harvest. Much of that land would come from Prince of Wales.

For the fourth installment of our Endangered Spaces series, we travel with Elsa and her companions, botanical illustrator Mara Menahan and biologist Natalie Dawson, as they trek through the areas on the island selected for transfer to see for themselves what’s been lost and what remains to be saved.

Learn more about the project at laststands.org. Find Mara’s illustrations at maramenahan.com.

Visit dirtbagdiaries.com for links to past episodes, music credits and to pledge your support. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunesSoundCloudStitcher and DoggCatcher, or connect with the Dirtbag Diaries community on Facebook and TwitterThe Dirtbag Diaries is a Duct Tape Then Beer production.

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