Sitka Conservation Society

Issues: Tongass

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.

Threats to the Tongass

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.



 Related Posts:

  • A Salmon Connection

    A Salmon Connection

    Can you teach economics to kids? I wasn’t sure. I’ve been scratching my head at how to convey such an advanced topic to third graders. So what if money stays here or goes there? A dollar is a dollar to a kid and they are going to spend it on the next trendy thing, right? [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – Kevin McGowan

    Voices of the Tongass – Kevin McGowan

    This week on Voices of The Tongass, Kevin McGowan explains his unusual fishing method: spear gun. To hear this week’s show, scroll to the bottom of this post. To continue the story, keep reading. Kevin McGowan has made some friends you need a snorkel to find. “Swimming and seeing a sea lion can be pretty [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – John Straley

    Voices of the Tongass – John Straley

    This week on Voices of the Tongass, John Straley talks about what it means to succeed in the Last Frontier, from building a career to building a family. To hear the show, scroll to the play bar at the bottom of this post. John Straley’s father could not have predicted that moving to the Last [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – Taylor White

    Voices of the Tongass – Taylor White

    This week’s show takes us under the breaking waves for a night dive with Taylor White. To hear more about Taylor’s relationship with the ocean, read on. To hear her episode of Voices of the Tongass, scroll to the bottom of this post. photo by Berett Wilber Taylor White is 22 years old and she [...]

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  • Tendering and Tongass Transition Advocacy Take Two

    Tendering and Tongass Transition Advocacy Take Two

    Tenders may only fulfill one or a few parts of the salmon commodity chain yet their hard labor and work ethic is what keeps our fishermen fishing and eventually our plates full of fish. To keep fishermen fishing, yet another amenity often provided by tenders is conversation. This is where my role as a community [...]

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  • “You slice ‘um, we ice ‘um”: a mix of tendering and Tongass Transition advocacy in Southeast

    “You slice ‘um, we ice ‘um”: a mix of tendering and Tongass Transition advocacy in Southeast

    Over the course of the summer, I had a chance to talk to a huge number of fishermen, but our conversations did not happen just at the harbors, docks, or in Sitka’s Pbar. Instead, they occurred on tenders. Tenders are a very important component of Southeast Alaska’s fishing industry and serve fishing boats that are [...]

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Keep up to date on all of the issues. Check out "The Southeaster" Blog.

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  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
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