The Tongass National Forest covers most of Southeast Alaska and is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. This ecosystem is globally rare and has disappeared in many places because of unsustainable industrial logging. Although hundreds of thousands of acres of Forest has been cut for industrial timber on the Tongass, SCS and Southeast Alaskan communities have kept millions of acres from being logged. Today we work to save what we still have left and to restore what was harmed in the past to full ecological productivity.
Our Tongass programs include the work we do on-the-ground to protect and restore this great place. Check out all our Tongass programs area below.
The Sitka Conservation Society strives to protect the remaining old growth and advocate for wise and sustainable development of the forest as a whole.
Salmon are the life-blood of the Tongass. These remarkable fish are the driving force of the ecology, economy, and culture of Southeast Alaska. The future of the Tongass, and the vitality of Southeast Alaskan communities, is tied to the future of sustainable salmon management. Learn more about how you can help SCS in our mission to protect salmon in the Tongass.
In the past, short-sighted logging operations clear-cut large swaths of old-growth forests in the Tongass. The scars left from the former cuts have grown into thick second growth, choking out habitat for deer, and road that were once used for hauling logs have blocked salmon spawning streams. Today, SCS is committed to restoring these areas to create a more healthy Tongass. We work collaboratively with a array of partners to restore and monitor these sites.
By working with land managers and the community to think creatively about habitat restoration, local economic development, timber, recreation, education, monitoring, contracting and more, we are working to ensure that local needs and environmental values are consistently integrated into the management process.
SCS was born out of the desire to protect parts of the Tongass forever as designated Wilderness Areas. Since then, we continue to steward our Wilderness and advocate for more Wilderness protection.
In 2010 USFS announced the Tongass Transition Framework, a plan to move away from the large scale timber industry and enhance economic opportunities in Southeast Alaska through stewardship and sustainable young growth timber harvesting. In the spring of 2013 SCS was awarded a Community Capacity and Land Stewardship (CCLS) Grant from the National Forest Foundation. [...]
Subsistence in Southeast Alaska: The Tongass National Forest Service’s Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program
Subsistence in Southeast Alaska from Sitka Conservation Society on Vimeo. Although we often associate our National Forests with trees and silviculturalists, BY FAR, the most valuable resource that the Tongass National Forest provides is in the production of all 5 species of wild Pacific salmon. Managing salmon habitat and the fish populations within the forest [...]
One of the things that struck me instantly when I moved to Sitka was the number of jarred foods I saw on people’s shelves. I moved up from Oregon where canning foods was either considered “trendy” or outdated–it was a lost art. But here, it’s an art that is practiced every year. In fact, according [...]
On the day before Halloween, the US Forest Service announced they were going to reduce the already insufficient $1.1 million dollar Wilderness and Recreation budget for the entire Tongass National Forest by over half a million dollars. This is “budgetary clear-cutting” with the Forest Service already proposing the closure of 12 cabins alongside a reduction in the [...]
For Kari Paustian, one of the most important things about growing up in Southeast Alaska is the way that is has shaped what she considers valuable. To read about a value system based on the Tongass, read Kari’s story. To what she has to say, scroll to the play bar at the bottom of this [...]
Richard Nelsonand Hank Lentfer will be featured at the next Natural History Seminar series presentation titled “Chasing Wild Sounds” December 5th, 7:30pm at UAS. Nelson and Lentfer will discuss their project “Voices of Glacier Bay National Park”, an effort to create a library documenting natural sounds from the park, including everything from the subtle scratches of a [...]