Alaska Rejects President’s Christmas Tree Request

Environmental Policy Task Force




June 6, 1997

Contact: David Ridenour, Laura Cleland or Mike Beard
Fly-in for Freedom Press Office: 202/879-7966
Or Leave a Message at: (202) 507-6398 or [email protected]

A delegation of Alaskans have converged on the nation’s capital to respond to President Clinton’s request for trees from the Tongass National Forest to decorate the capital during the 1998 Christmas season. Their response: “Grow Your Own.”

Earlier this year, the White House picked the Tongass National Forest to supply 60 Christmas trees to decorate the Capitol Building, White House and other government buildings in 1998. However, the Alaska legislature, in a formal resolution, opposed the harvesting of the trees saying, “The Alaska legislature recognizes harvesting of Alaska’s trees to provide pleasure for those far removed is symbolic of a failed national policy which has cost Southeast Alaska communities thousands of year-round, family supporting jobs and caused untold personal suffering.”

Since 1990, close to 3,000 Alaskans have been forced onto the unemployment lines as a result of the Clinton Administration’s extreme policies.

“The President wanted a Christmas gift of 60 trees from the Tongass. While we could provide hundreds of thousands of trees, the President’s request is hypocritical given the forced shut-down of the Tongass and the resultant devastation to families and communities,” said Dick Coose, Executive Director of Concerned Alaskans for Resources and Environment (CARE).

Coose and other Alaskans instead offer an alternative: A pine cone in a clay pot.

“This way the President can grow his own,” said Coose. “The pot can also serve as a reminder to the President that his policies are forcing our economy to go to pot.”

Coose is one of some 300 property rights advocates, timber workers, ranchers, farmers, fishermen and recreationists visiting Washington, D.C. to participate in the seven annual Alliance for America “Fly-In for Freedom.” The Fly-In is being held at the Washington Courtyard Hotel (525 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.) from June 7-11 and will feature close to 100 speakers and 40 panels.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dick Coose or another member of the Alaska delegation, call Laura Cleland, Mike Beard, or David Ridenour during the Fly-In at 202/879-7966. After the Fly-In, or to leave a message, call (202) 507-6398 or e-mail [email protected].


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