At roughly 17 million acres, the Tongass is America’s largest national forest, encompassing the majority of the southeast Alaska Panhandle. Rising majestically from the deep, rich waters of Alaska’s Inside Passage, this is a land of huge bears grown fat on salmon, eagles soaring the endless skies, and 800-year-old trees standing silent sentry over a lush and verdant world.
Despite decades of clear-cutting its best old-growth habitat, the Tongass still contains some of the most intact expanses of temperate rainforest remaining in the world. It provides habitat for all five species of Pacific salmon, humpback and orca whales, plus some of the largest concentrations of brown bears and bald eagles in America.
The forest safeguards wildlife found nowhere else on the planet, like the Alexander Archipelago wolf. Under current management practices, this wolf could become the first wildlife species in the Tongass listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Tongass giant old-growth trees are also a warehouse of carbon, helping regulate the planet’s climate.
Check out this video about the Tongass!