The Tongass National Forest is the largest National Forest in the United States and covers nearly all of the panhandle of Southeast Alaska. Much of it is remote, old growth temperate rainforest comprised of massive, salmon-fertilized Sitka Spruce & Western Hemlock. This prime fish habitat offers some of the best fly fishing in Alaska.
The Tongass has a long tradition of timber harvesting and many communities throughout Southeast Alaska were spawned directly from this industry. While logging has declined over the past few decades, fishing (both commercial and sport) and the tourism industry have never been stronger in our region. In fact the combined tourism/fishing industries contribute nearly 30,000 jobs and roughly $1.5 billion to Southeast Alaska’s economy.
Scientists and stakeholders in the region have identified over 70 areas within the Tongass that provide critical habitat for salmon and trout populations. The rivers and streams that comprise these areas are currently open for development that could significantly impact our region’s wild salmon and trout. America’s Salmon Forest and Trout Unlimited are working to conserve these select areas and the economic gain they bring to our region.
One day remains to take action and to call on members of Congress in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to permanently make these areas off limits to harmful development activities while still allowing existing access and uses.
We hope these actions protect and ensure abundant returns of wild salmon for generations to come, while also safeguarding the lifeblood of our local economy.
Please consider taking action and submitting a letter online today! American Salmon Forest – Take Action