TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST
Photo credit: Richard Spener
WHY TO LOVE THIS PLACE
At approximately 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is America’s largest national forest, encompassing the majority of the Alaska Panhandle in Southeast Alaska. Rising from the deep, rich waters of Alaska’s Inside Passage, Southeast Alaska is a land of ancient forests, mountains and glaciers with bountiful, diverse and unique wildlife.
The Tongass is home to humpback and orca whales, otters, beavers, Alexander Archipelago wolves and some of the largest, densest concentrations of brown bears and bald eagles found on the planet.
The many Tongass glaciers that can be seen today are remnants of the last ice age during the Pleistocene Epoch. The Tongass is also home to five species of salmon: king, red, silver, chum and pink.
GATEWAY TO ALASKA
The Tongass is the place to visit! Often referred to as the “Inside Passage” or the gateway to Alaska, commercial fishing, tourism and recreation are the fastest growing job sectors in Southeast Alaska.
At approximately 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is America’s largest national forest. There are 19 designated wilderness areas within the Tongass, more than in any other national forest.
The Tongass is a buffer against climate change, absorbing around eight percent of the nation’s annual global warming pollution and storing an estimated 10-12 percent of all carbon in our national forests.
THE FIGHT TO PROTECT THE TONGASS FROM OLD-GROWTH CLEARCUTS
The Tongass National Forest, America's largest national forest, continues to be threatened by new congressional attempts to clear-cut rare and valuable old-growth trees. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service has started a planning process to kick-start the largest old-growth logging project in the U.S. in recent history, and has begun a process that could exempt the Tongass from the federal Roadless Rule.