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:

  • Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor

    Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor

    As published in the Sitka Daily Sentinel on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Scientists are searching for a method to eradicate the invasive tunicate species that has kept Whiting Harbor closed since 2010. This invasive sea squirt has been found all over the world and can have detrimental effects on marine ecosystems if not controlled. But [...]

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  • Salmon Stewardship on the Tongass: Twelvemile Creek

    Salmon Stewardship on the Tongass: Twelvemile Creek

    The Sitka Conservation Society is not only dedicated to protecting the natural environment of the Tongass National Forest, but also to supporting the health and sustainability of the communities that depend on the forest’s resources. As part of this mission, we partnered with local communities, the Tongass National Forest, and the National Forest Foundation to [...]

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  • Speaking for the Trees of the Tongass

    Speaking for the Trees of the Tongass

    If you’ve picked up a book on the Tongass or timber or even just Southeast Alaska, the story of the trees of Prince of Wales Island is probably one with which you’re familiar. But even for an outsider, the story would be hard to miss, as the history of this island has been carved into [...]

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  • Sitka Seafood Festival Celebrates Salmon in the Tongass

    Sitka Seafood Festival Celebrates Salmon in the Tongass

    The last marathoner in the Sitka Cross Trail Classic ran confidently across the finish line as the Sitka Seafood Festival parade started to get underway on Saturday.  Floats spewing bubbles and candy made their way down Lincoln Street towards the Sheldon Jackson campus just before noon on August 5 as just one part of a [...]

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  • Final Summer Boat Cruise

    Final Summer Boat Cruise

    Join the Sitka Conservation Society on their last boat cruise of the season!   On Tuesday, Aug. 19, SCS will set sail with Allen Marine tours to explore the salmon of Sitka Sound.  Lon Garrison, aquaculture director at the Sitka Sound Science Center will be on board as a guide and to answer questions.  Come [...]

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  • Group Working to Save Yellow Cedar

    Group Working to Save Yellow Cedar

    As published in the Daily Sitka Sentinel on July 16, 2014 Four environmental groups have filed a petition to make the Alaskan yellow-cedar, an important tree to Tlingit carvers, an endangered species. However, some petitioners believe that the protection might not be enough to save the species. “It’s almost like we’re too late with the [...]

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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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