About the Region

About the Alaska Region

We invite you to explore the nation’s two single largest national forests – the Chugach and Tongass, located in south-central and southeast Alaska. From the Chugach and the famous Russian River of the Kenai Peninsula to the Tongass, which covers most of Southeast Alaska, surrounding the famous Inside Passage, the Alaska Region offers amazing diversity and the most beautiful, famous and stunning forests in the nation.

This region offers unique chances to view eagles, bears, spawning salmon and breath-taking vistas of "wild" Alaska. As a place for individuals and families to enjoy the outdoors you can take a sled-dog ride on a glacier, hike boardwalk trails, fish in streams or ocean, or just relax at a remote cabin. These special areas offer the ability to escape the crowds of the city and encounter nature at its best - to experience your backyard and to have your adventure.

Alaska Region Strategic Plan Fiscal Year 2017-2021

Cover of the Alaska Region Strategic Plan with a brown bear in the water and her three cubs above.

The Alaska Region’s Strategic Plan documents the key focus areas for the region. It clarifies leadership intent and defines clear strategies that we will work on in FY17 and beyond to move us forward in meeting that intent.

The Strategic Plan is shared by all units and employees of the Alaska Region. It is closely aligned with Chief Tidwell’s five national priority focus areas, the newly released USDA Forest Service Strategic Plan: FY 2015-2020, and is woven into our daily work. It embodies our Forest Service mission: To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands for the benefit of present and future generations. 

Beth Pendleton, Regional Forester

Quick facts about Alaska's national forests

Alaska contains 17 percent of all U.S. Forest Service lands and contains the two largest forests in the nation. The Tongass National Forest stretches over the 500-mile-long Southeast Alaska Panhandle and covers over 80 percent of that land. The Chugach National Forest makes a 210-mile arc around Prince William Sound.

In all, we manage 21.9 million acres- but it doesn’t stop there…
On the Chugach and Tongass national forests are

  • 21,956,250 total acres
  • 5,754,000 acres of Wilderness
  • 7,200,000 acres of wetlands
  • 2,100,000 acres of Wilderness study area
  • 57,000 miles of streams
  • 12,600 miles anadramous fish streams
  • 400,000 acres of lakes
  • 231 public recreation cabins & shelters
  • 1,170 miles trails
  • 3,644 miles of roads
  • 1,219 special use permits
  • 63 mines with operating plans

Chugach National Forest Facts

  • established in 1907
  • Headquarters (Supervisor's Office) in Anchorage
  • 5.3 million acres; second largest national forest in the U.S.
  • approximately 210 miles east to west, 120 miles north to south
  • 40 public recreation cabins
  • approximately 200 miles of trails
  • contains the 41 mile long Columbia Glacier
  • only national forest with Dall sheep
  • home of the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center
  • contains the Copper River Delta, habitat for over 20 million birds a year
  • surrounds world famous Prince William Sound

Tongass National Forest Facts

  • established in 1907
  • Headquarters (Supervisor's Office) in Ketchikan
  • largest national forest in the U.S.
  • originally managed as 3 areas: Ketchikan, Stikine, Chatham
  • stretches nearly 500 miles north to south
  • 145 public recreation cabins
  • nearly 600 miles of trails
  • approximately 11,000 miles of saltwater shoreline
  • more than 1000 islands
  • contains Prince of Wales Island, 3rd largest island in U.S.
  • contains two national monuments: Admiralty Island and Misty Fiords
  • includes 5.8 million acres of designated wilderness

How we are organized

  • Regional Office, located in Juneau: Regional Forester and staff, program directors, specialists
  • Forest Supervisor Offices, in Ketchikan and Anchorage: Forest Supervisor and staff, shared specialists and services
  • Ranger Districts: Individually managed portions of each forest with headquarters often in smaller communities. District ranger and staff, field workers, summer employees. There are ranger district offices in Yakutat, Juneau, Hoonah, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Craig, Thorne Bay, Glacier, Cordova and Seward.
  • Admiralty National Monument: Similar to a Ranger District office, Admiralty has it's own headquarters located in Juneau.

Regional Staffs

  • Ecosystem Planning
  • Public Affairs & Communication
  • Engineering and Aviation
  • Recreation, Lands and Minerals
  • Forest Management
  • Subsistence Program
  • Wildlife, Fisheries, Ecology, Watershed

Two National Forests in Alaska

  • CHUGACH - South-Central Alaska • 5.3 million acres more
  • TONGASS - Nearly 17 million acres • largest U.S. national forest more