Tongass National Forest

The largest intact forest in North America.

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest comprises a significant portion of the world’s last remaining temperate rainforest.

This spectacular 17 million acre region supports abundant wildlife, including such priority bird species as the Marbled Murrelet. Audubon’s goal is to conserve intact, ecologically significant watersheds in the Tongass and support the transition of forest management from the harvest of old-growth trees to more diversified uses. 

Audubon Alaska’s collaborative approach includes all key stakeholders: conservation groups, the timber industry, commercial fishing groups, tourism officials, Alaska’s Native people, southeastern Alaska communities, the U.S. Forest Service, and Alaska Fish and Game.

Our Largest National Forest Is at Risk

The Roadless Rule protects our nation’s forests from clear-cut logging and roadbuilding. In the Tongass National Forest these roadless areas provide nesting trees for birds like the Queen Charlotte Goshawk and Red-breasted Sapsucker. They protect a network of salmon-rich rivers and streams that are an important resource for local communities. 


Large old-growth trees also play a vital role in mitigating climate change. They breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which helps counter greenhouse gas emissions and shrinks our carbon footprint. Although 96% of the public support keeping the Roadless Rule in the Tongass, the government is working to remove this protection, putting people, birds, and the planet at risk. Residents of Southeast Alaska are speaking out to protect this special place. 


Salmonscape: Voices of the Tongass

Ray Troll, artist and naturalist from Southeast Alaska, talks about how the magic of the Tongass National Forest inspires his work. Watch as he reflects on the beauty of the trees, the importance of salmon, and the ongoing fight to protect the Tongass from clear-cut logging.



Rooted in the Rainforest: Voices of the Tongass

The President of the Organized Village of Kake, Joel Jackson knows the importance of the Tongass National Forest for tribes and Indigenous Peoples of Southeast Alaska. It is their home as it has been for thousands of years, and it provides a source of food security. Watch as he explains how it is his life’s work to preserve the Tongass for future generations.



One Tree at a Time: Voices of the Tongass

Is it possible to harvest timber from the Tongass National Forest in a sustainable way? Gordon Chew of the Tenakee Logging Company believes it is. Watch as he talks about his selective logging approach to tree harvesting and how it is in stark contrast to the destructive clear-cutting approach of large timber companies.



Videos courtesy of Wild Confluence Media

Blackburnian Warbler. Jamie Harrelson/Audubon Photography Awards

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