One of the most effective methods of bringing attention to an issue is writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. During this critical juncture of the Heritage Forests Campaign, it is more important than ever to raise public awareness about the plight of our only remaining green spaces and wild places.

Follow these easy instructions for writing and submitting your own letter to the editor. We'll post all published letters here on our web page. You can help save our Heritage Forests in print and on the web!

Here are some tips to keep in mind when composing a letter to the editor:

  • Keep it brief and to the point. Letters generally should be no longer than 3-4 short paragraphs, or 10-12 concise sentences.
  • Be sure to make a reference early in the letter to a specific news article, op-ed, or editorials that was published in the newspaper to which you are writing and cite the exact date and article title in parentheses.
  • Make one point and keep on it, don't wander.
  • Include a local example when appropriate, but keep it brief and simple.
  • Assume your letter is the first time a reader is learning about your issue.
  • Avoid jargon and rhetoric and keep the details and facts to a minimum.
  • Always include your name, address and phone number. Never use anyone's name that has not approved its use on a letter.

Here are some suggested message points to consider using in letters. Ideally you should choose one, and not more than two of these points to emphasize.

  • Roads, logging, mining, oil drilling, off-road vehicles, and other large-scale commercial developments have already scarred more than half the 192-million acre national forest system.
  • A final roadless policy must contain no exemptions and apply to all national forests, including the Tongass NF.
  • The only fair process will be a full-scale one that allows the public to comment on what the final policy should contain, which will require the Forest Service to do an environmental impact study.
  • A final policy should protect roadless areas 1,000 acres and larger.
  • Protecting roadless areas is important for protecting vital watersheds that supply fresh water to 60 million Americans in 3,400 communities.
  • There already are more than 383,000 miles of roads on the national forests, according to the US Forest Service.

You can submit your letter over the Internet--nothing could be easier! In order to find your local paper, go to Select your state and the most relevant newspaper. Simply type your submission in the form provided on the site, and click to send it off to the editor.

Please email me at:[email protected] if your letter is published. Don't forget to provide me with the date of publication, the name of the newspaper, and of course the letter itself. We'll create a gallery of printed letters in the community area of our web site. You'll inspire others to write letters to their local newspaper editors.
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