About The Tongass



At nearly 17 million acres, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is our country’s largest and most unique national forest. This magnificent landscape of western hemlock, Sitka spruce, western red cedar and yellow cedar trees is part of the world’s largest remaining intact temperate rain forest – and hosts some of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. The Tongass comprises thousands of mist-covered islands, deep fjords, tidewater glaciers and soggy muskegs that provide ideal habitat for a vast array of wild plant and animal species, including healthy salmon and trout populations. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Tongass includes roughly 17,000 miles of clean, undammed creeks, rivers and lakes that provide optimal spawning and rearing conditions for the region’s copious wild Pacific salmon and trout. Each year, abundant wild salmon runs return from the ocean to Tongass streams to spawn and die. In this process, these fish bring nutrients from the productive North Pacific Ocean to the much less nutrient-rich land. Because Tongass ecosystems are sustained by the annual salmon returns, the Tongass is literally a “salmon forest.”