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.
<—”We aren’t really city folk”: Keith Landers and H&L Salvage (4 of 6 part series) Good Faith Lumber, far surpassed our expectations as far as size and workload. Good Faith is owned by three Thorne Bay residents with a combined experience in the wood industry of over 92 years! We walked around the facility [...]
We rolled up to our next stop to visit Keith Landers at H&L Salvage. Keith has been making shingles here for twenty years. In the last decade, H&L began manufacturing dimensional lumber as well. Landers was eager to chat and there was no shortage, or filter, to the wisdom he was willing to share about [...]
<—- “Just Listen”: Meet A Family of Musicwood Producers (2 of 6 part series) We rambled down a maze of logging roads in search of the bucket Larry left by the road to signify our pulloff. Eventually, we spotted the bucket and a sedan pulled conspicuously off the gravel. We were greeted by Larry Trumble [...]
Ten years ago, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act occurring this year, in 2014, the United States Forest Service launched what it termed the Ten Year Wilderness Challenge – an endeavor aimed at bringing to the over 400 wilderness areas under the Forest Service’s management a level of care needed to protect [...]
<—- Investigating a Responsible Timber Industry on the Tongass: A Conservationist’s Perspective (1 of 6 part series) We ambled down the road and through the rain to our first lesson in woodworking. Alaska Specialty Woods (ASW), co-owned by Brent and Annette Cole, is a major soundboard producer on the island. We pulled into the drive [...]
The day we headed out from Hoonah was like most days in Southeast Alaska. Grey clouds diffused the light and an almost imperceptible rain left everything damp. We were headed to the Inian Islands, a cluster of knobby isles on the western end of Icy Strait, just inside the entrance to Cross Sound. Our trip [...]