Learning Center

Boat on the Tongass

At 16.8 million acres, the Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States and the largest remaining temperate rainforest in the world. Nearly 500 miles long with 11,000 miles of coastline, it is as much a seascape as a landscape: a world of islands, waterways and tide-washed beaches along which marine and terrestrial life overlap.

The country’s largest national forest is a place with room for both quiet and clamor: the quiet of undeveloped, pristine places; the clamor of Americans commenting upon ho the future forest will be managed and the steady hum of working communities, as well. Whether by standing in the mossy silence of old-growth forest, visiting one of Southeast Alaska’s unique communities, or taking part in the bustle of public discussion and debate, you are part of this temperate rainforest in transition.

We worked with Juneau-based KTOO to develop this video series called Shades of Green that really explores this magnificent place. Take a look!

1.    Welcome to the Tongass National Forest

2.    World Class Treasure: The unique qualities of the Tongass are described by Dr. Richard Nelson

3.    Healthy Fish and Wildlife: Restoring, reclaiming, and preserving habitat in the Tongass with specific examples from Yakutat and Sitka

4.    Geology: Caves on Prince of Wales and other unusual geologic features under the Tongass

5.    Rebuilding our Home: After the closure of mills, the small logging town of Naukati rebuilds its economy by starting an oyster nursery

6.    Logging today, A New Look: Icy Straits Lumber harvests from small timber sales, saws and dries wood at their Hoonah mill, and sells value-added wood products in Southeast Alaska

7.    Tourism: Brenda Schwartz of Wrangell is one of the Alaska residents involved in tourism by taking visitors on jet boat rips up the Stikine River to view bears at Anan Creek.

8.    Working on the Forest: Forest Service employees describe the advantages, challenges and pleasure of working on the Tongass

9.    Living off the Land: The Forest Service role in sustaining subsistence opportunities and an example of efforts at Basket Bay/Kook Lake

10.  Research, Quest for Answers: Northern flying squirrel research is just one of many kinds of studies taking place on the Tongass

11.  Traditions and Stewardship: An archaeological dig near Coffman Cove illustrates the special relationship between the Forest Service and Alaska Native people

The Tongass National Forest belongs to you, enjoy!