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:

  • Voices of the Tongass – Squid Fishing

    Voices of the Tongass – Squid Fishing

    This week’s episode of  Voices of the Tongass features, Squid Fishing, a poem written and recited by Berett Wilber, who was born and raised in Sitka. Her collection of poems, entitled Lesser Known Marine Mammals Lesser Known Love Songs, won the departmental prize for poetry this year at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she has [...]

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  • Defining Wilderness

    Defining Wilderness

    “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” – US Congress 1964 What is wilderness? It was described legally, [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – Bailey

    Voices of the Tongass – Bailey

    Today’s episode of Voices of the Tongass features a story from Bailey Brady about growing up on a float house. To listen to the show, scroll to the bottom of this post. For more of Bailey’s stories, read on… At 20, Bailey Brady has had fewer chances than most to get her feet planted firmly [...]

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  • Rivers and trees

    Rivers and trees

    This is a story of a small place – a sandbar -, in a big place – the Red Bluff River -, in an even bigger place – the South Baranof Wilderness -, and, well, we won’t even get into the Tongass and beyond. Over a week of work in Red Bluff Bay this week, [...]

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  • Fishing Lines and Family Ties

    Fishing Lines and Family Ties

    I wake up groggy, almost hit my head on the fo’c’s’le ceiling when I climb up the ladder into the pilot house. When Dad sees me, he says “Hey! Get your rain gear on! We need your help!” And then ten minutes later, I’m out in the pit, my gloves wrist deep in the belly [...]

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  • Restoring our Forest

    Restoring our Forest

    Is it possible to restore clear-cut areas of the Tongass National Forest back to their original composition? While this question will remain unanswered for generations, we do know some things about restoration in the Tongass. Trees regrow in logged areas, with the assistance of people or not. However, the natural succession of second-growth forest in [...]

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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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  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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