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:

  • The Salmon Forest

    The Salmon Forest

    THE TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST AND THE COHO SALMON:  Alaska’s coho fisheries and the Tongass National Forest are closely related. Shot in Sitka over the fishing season of 2013 by Berett Wilber, this photo essay illustrates how conservation and restoration matter  to local fisherman, and why it should matter to you.

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  • Guest Post: From the Waters of Alaska to the Cornfields of the Midwest

    Guest Post: From the Waters of Alaska to the Cornfields of the Midwest

    By. Nora McGinn, Sitka Salmon Shares Organizer The Sitka Salmon Shares office sits on Main Street in Galesburg, Illinois, approximately 3,000 miles from the Tongass National Forest and the communities of Southeast Alaska. Despite this distance, we share a commitment to the salmon, fishermen and public lands that make up the Tongass National Forest. As [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – Ben Hamilton

    Voices of the Tongass – Ben Hamilton

    Today’s episode of Voices of the Tongass features a story from Ben Hamilton about becoming a filmmaker in Southeast Alaska. To listen to the show, scroll to the bottom of this post. For more of Ben, read on… Ben Hamilton, a native Texan, never thought of himself as someone who lived in Alaska. But recently [...]

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  • Bar Hopping Rust Lake

    Bar Hopping Rust Lake

    The signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964 legally mandated the preservation of designated wilderness areas throughout the United States. Section 2 (c) elegantly defined wilderness to be “…an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man” as well as “…an area of undeveloped federal land retaining its primeval character [...]

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  • Hunting for Meaning

    Hunting for Meaning

    If you had asked me a few years ago what I thought about hunting I probably would have said I didn’t like it. I appreciated the whole wild food thing but hunting = killing. And that was bad. Or wrong. Or something. But today I was called a huntress…let me explain. Saturday was the day [...]

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  • VIDEO: Sitka, Gateway to the Tongass

    VIDEO: Sitka, Gateway to the Tongass

    Film maker Ben Hamilton has captured the essence of the Sitka Community Use Area in this video. In just two minutes find out what makes the Tongass so remarkable: The Tongass National Forest is the largest forest in the National Forest System. Weighing in at 17 million acres, it encompasses almost the entire Southeast Alaska [...]

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

  • Hungry for Huckleberry Pie, Venison Stew, or Fresh Greens? Come to the Wild Foods Potluck Nov. 2!
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  • Kayaking Kootznoowoo: Report on SCS’s Final Wilderness Trip
  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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