Salmon are a pillar of life in Southeast Alaska. They are essential to the ecosystem of the rainforest, in addition to driving the culture and economy of this region. The life cycles of salmon are intricately woven into the life of the Tongass. They need the habitat of the rainforest to survive, while the people and the rainforest in turn need the salmon to survive. Tlingit people have thrived in Sitka Sound for millennia on the bounty of salmon. Today, Southeast Alaskans are commercial fishermen, charter guides, sport fishers, and subsistence harvesters.
Despite the importance of salmon both ecologically and economically, salmon management in the Tongass has been chronically underfunded and under-appreciated. The Forest Service currently dedicates $15 million to timber and road-building in the Tongass, while the timber industry only provides around 200 jobs. Comparatively, the Forest Service gives only $1.5 million to salmon management and restoration, even though salmon provide over 4,000 jobs for Southeast Alaskans. Salmon deserve more of our public resources. The Forest Service should prioritize salmon fishery health while managing the Tongass. If more money can be devoted to watershed restoration and caring for salmon habitat, our Southeast communities can continue to thrive.
We need your voice to help protect Tongass salmon! Tell the Forest Service why salmon matter!