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.
The first 2014 summer Wilderness was a trip to the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness area, where we based camped at Baird Island. Here, we conducted visitor use monitoring, surveyed for invasive plants and completed campsite inventories. Additionally, we picked up a lot of beach trash and cached it on the island. During this trip, we also [...]
Do you like wild Alaskan salmon? Then you should also like stream buffers. What exactly is a stream buffer? It’s the area of land on either side of a stream, river or lake that is excluded from logging when the Forest Service designs timber sales. Stream buffers are extremely important because they ensure that old growth [...]
What do Canadian mines have to do with Alaskan wild salmon? Almost everything. This link became all too apparent on August 4, when a tailings pond breached at Mount Polley mine in British Columbia. Millions of gallons of metal-contaminated water and sand poured out of the tailings pond and into the arteries of the Frasier [...]
Southeast Alaska’s waterways are its highways. Boats and barges are its trains and semi-trucks. For thousands of years, people in this area have lived off the abundant plants, animals and salmon stocks which the coastal temperate rainforest rainforest, today part of the Tongass National Forest, provides. Before the Russians occupied this chain of islands off [...]
Teaming up with SEARHC for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health After speaking with the board of the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (or SEARHC), Doug Chilton was able to secure funding for the One Canoe Society to travel and give paddling workshops throughout Southeast Alaska. He suggested that the canoe society team up with SEARHC’s [...]
Doug Chilton and The One People Canoe Society A decade ago, when his canoe team was invited to race at the Quinault Indian Reservation in Washington state, Doug Chilton was thrilled. The team had trained for weeks and raised enough money to cover travel expenses from their home in Juneau. But when they drove into [...]