The Tongass National Forest

is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, containing 17 million acres of old-growth trees, towering mountains, lush coastlines, and healthy populations of fish and wildlife. These lands and waters support the ways of life of the 31 communities and 19 federally recognized Tribes that reside here. Its old growth forests have global impacts, making up a giant carbon sink storing more carbon dioxide than any other forest in the country. We work with a wide variety of partners and stakeholders to protect the the Tongass for the sustainability of the communities, plants, and animals that rely on it.

Learn more about the Tongass

Managing Our Largest National Forest

At the local and regional level, Alaskans have been working together, across identities and party lines, to achieve the best outcomes for the forest and surrounding communities. For too long, management of the Tongass was driven by large scale old growth clearcut logging, leaving deep scars on the landscapes and within the communities around it. In contrast to this past that had defined this region, we work to ensure that management of our largest national forest is based on sustainable and regenerative approaches that benefit communities, ecosystem processes, and mitigating climate change.

Tongass Stewardship

Since the founders of Sitka Conservation Society acted to preserve land through Wilderness designations, we have continued to steward these areas and others across the Tongass National Forest. We help restore places damaged by logging to bring back salmon and wildlife habitat to its full ecological potential and build and maintain recreation facilities, helping people use and enjoy their public lands.

Threats to the Tongass

The Tongass is intimately connected to our way of life in Southeast Alaska, as well as to the future of our entire nation. However, the crucial forests of the Tongass and the lifeways they support face a variety of threats, from mass scale natural resource extraction, to impacts from climate change threatening the viability of species from salmon to yellow cedar. At SCS, we work to amplify local voices to influence decision makers and share on-the-ground impacts of policies and proposals that would harm the economic, cultural, and ecological vitality of the Tongass.