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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) More than 75 scientists are appealing to President Barack Obama to create a policy for preserving old-growth forest.

The U.S. and Canadian scientists sent a letter to the president on Wednesday urging the U.S. Forest Service to draw up plans to conserve ecosystems distinguished by old trees, accumulations of dead woody material and diversity of plant life. Most are found in the Pacific Northwest or Southeast Alaska.

The scientists include former Forest Service chiefs Jack Ward Thomas and Mike Dombeck. They say less than 10 percent of the country's original old-growth forest remains.

The scientists urge Obama to manage old-growth forest for conservation instead of timber production.