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.
Almost three months have already gone by since I started my internship with the Sitka Conservation Society, under the supervision of Scott Harris, the Conservation Science Director at SCS. It is now the start of September and I cannot believe how fast time flies by when I am truly enjoying my eye-opening opportunity. It still feels [...]
Sitka School District schools have been serving locally-caught fish in their school lunches for three years. But starting today, kids will be eating coho caught right in their own backyard every Wednesday! Fish to Schools was a brainchild of the fall 2010 Sitka Health Summit and a pilot program began in the spring of 2011 [...]
My internship has also taken me to Redoubt Lake, a unique meromictic lake, where the top layer is freshwater with several hundred feet of saltwater on the bottom layer of the lake. Located about 12 miles from the city of Sitka, Redoubt Lake plays an important role in the subsistence fisheries for the people of Sitka. [...]
Tourism is a $1 billion industry in southeast Alaska, fueled by visitors coming from all over the world to view the glaciers, bears, eagles and to experience the wilderness. But, they also come for the whales! The population of North Pacific humpback whales in southeast Alaska used to be a lot higher, but humans actually [...]
The soft morning sunlight shined upon as I rode my bike to the Crescent Harbor, making my way towards Scott’s Boat. Today was the very first overnight camping trip of my internship, and that fact alone had already made the trip exciting. As I got to the boat, Scott was already there, making sure that [...]
Sitka Conservation Society Executive Director Andrew Thoms is a member of the Tongass Advisory Council, a group of 15 stakeholders from all over the Pacific Northwest, including fishermen, timber salesmen, Alaska Native groups and conservationists. Thoms traveled to Ketchikan last week for the first of many The Tongass Advisory Committee meetings that will discuss strategies [...]