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:

  • Fish Need Trees, Too

    Fish Need Trees, Too

    SCS Board Member, Brendan Jones recently published an article in the New Your Times: “Fish Need Trees, too.” detailing the Forest Service’s poor management of resources in Southeast Alaska,  putting giant, ecologically destructive clear-cuts over protecting habitat for salmon–the backbone of the Southeat Alaskan economy. Brendan writes: This year, though, the fishing fleet in southeast [...]

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  • Wilderness Volunteers Needed: Summer 2014

    Wilderness Volunteers Needed: Summer 2014

    Interested in volunteering with the Community Wilderness Stewardship Project?  This year we’ll have a number of opportunities for you to get into the field with SCS staff and USFS Wilderness Rangers to help collect monitoring data, remove invasive weeds, and enjoy our amazing Wilderness areas. Below are the trips and dates with spots available for [...]

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  • Sail West Chichagof and support SCS

    Sail West Chichagof and support SCS

    Chichagof Island – the name alone can quicken the pulse of anybody from Sitka. Home to the 265,000 acre West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness, it has a coastline only 8 miles shorter than all of the Hawaiian Islands together! Shee Kaax (Chichagof Island) is the fifth largest island in the United States and the 109th largest island in [...]

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  • Adjustments to the Forest Service Budget are a Small Victory for our Forest, Fish and Community!

    Adjustments to the Forest Service Budget are a Small Victory for our Forest, Fish and Community!

    The Sitka Conservation Society and US Forest Service are working with community support and partner organizations to encourage a regional management transition across the Tongass National Forest. Our ultimate goal is that the management of our public lands reflects the collective interests and values of the region’s many stakeholders. We work tirelessly to ensure that [...]

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  • Karta River: Classroom in the Wilderness

    Karta River: Classroom in the Wilderness

    Think back to those boring days during school, when you would tune out the teacher’s voice, stare out the window, and daydream about being outside. Well, if you were a student at Craig High School, no dreaming would be necessary. For the past few years, Wilderness Rangers with the Forest Service have been working with [...]

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  • Rural Advisory Committee Funds Available

    Rural Advisory Committee Funds Available

    The Secure Rural Schools Act (previously referred to as “timber receipts”) has provided approximately $100,000 for a group of volunteer Sitkans (the Sitka Rural Advisory Committee or RAC) to decide how the funds will be spent on the Sitka Ranger District. Projects proposal may be submitted by federal, state, local, or tribal governments; non-profit organizations, [...]

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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
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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