7th Annual ALLIANCE FOR AMERICA Fly-In For Freedom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 1997
Alaska Responds to President's Christmas
"Grow Your Own!"
(Washington DC) -- A delegation of Alaskans have converged on the nation's capital as part of the 7th annual Alliance for America's Fly-In for Freedom. They have taken this opportunity to also 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 3000 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 the Environment (C.A.R.E.).
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, forest products workers, ranchers, farmers, fishermen, and recreationists visiting Washington DC to participate in the Fly-In.