1. What comes to mind when you hear the term conservation? Petitions, polar bears, politicians, researchers? David Attenborough? Did heavy equipment tearing up a rainforest floor come to mind? Unlikely. Nestled deep within our earth’s largest temperate rainforest- conservation takes unique form.

    Meet a vibrant team of heavy equipment operators working deep in the Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska. Learn about the Sitkoh River Restoration Project and the benefits of river and stream restoration.

    To learn more about the Sitka Conservation Society's commitment to restoration visit: sitkawild.org/issues/issues-tongass/restoration/

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  2. Watch a quick and clever animated video that answers the question: How many salmon come from the Tongass National Forest?

    You'll soon understand why the Tongass National Forest is also America's Salmon Forest.

    *If you want to get into the nitty gritty of commercial salmon harvest numbers, start here: adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=CommercialByFisherySalmon.exvesselquery

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  3. The Sitka Conservation Society (SCS) is a founding partner and coordinator of the Sitka “Fish to Schools” program. Our mission is to deepen youth understanding of local seafood resources by integrating locally-caught seafood into the school lunch program, introducing stream to plate curricula, and fostering a connection to the local fishing culture.

    Learn more about this creative program and SCS's commitment to local food by watching this video and visiting: sitkawild.org/issues/community/local-foods/

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  4. Learn the importance of salmon stewardship to Alaskan culture and economy. Learn how to protect the 'ecosystem bank' unique to the Tongass National Forest and surrounding waters.

    Get involved: americansalmonforest.org

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  5. Subsistence is one of the leading reasons why Alaskan communities are so far removed from, and unique to, most American cities and towns. Harvesting resources from the land and sea is an inspiring cultural tradition and absolute necessity to the lucky people who call this region home. Learn how the United States Forest Service works to protect these critical resources.

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    Continue reading to learn even more...

    Although we often associate our National Forests with trees and silviculturalists, BY FAR, the most valuable resource that the Tongass National Forest provides is in the production of all 5 species of wild Pacific salmon. Managing salmon habitat and the fish populations within the forest is one of the key roles of National Forest Service staff in Alaska. The Tongass National Forest is the largest National Forest in the United States. Its 17 million acres is home to 32 communities that use and very much depend on the resources that this forest provides. On this National Forest, fisheries and watershed staff are probably the most critical positions on the entire Forest and are responsible for the keystone species in the temperate rainforest ecosystem—Salmon--a $1 Billion per year commercial fishery that serves up delicious salmon to people around the nation and the world, not to mention subsistence harvests that feed thousands of rural community members in Alaska. These staff also carry the legacy of thousands of years of sustainable management on their shoulders.

    Like nothing else, salmon have shaped the cultures and the lifestyle of the peoples and communities of Southeast Alaska. The Tlingit and Haida people who have called the Tongass home for thousands of years, have learned and adapted to the natural cycles of salmon. Deeply held cultural beliefs have formed unique practices for “taking care of” and ensuring the continuance of salmon runs. As documented by Anthropologist Thomas Thornton in his book, Being and Place Among the Tlingit, “the head’s of localized clan house groups, known as yitsati, keeper of the house, were charged with coordinating the harvest and management of resource areas” like the sockeye salmon streams and other important salmon runs.

    The staff of the Fisheries and Watershed program has integrated Alaska Native organizations, individuals, and beliefs into salmon and fisheries management programs on the Tongass and have hired talented Alaska Native individuals as staff in the USDA National Forest Service. Through the efforts of the Fisheries and Watershed program and its staff, a variety of formal agreements, joint programs, and multi-party projects that manage and protect our valuable salmon resources have been developed. The programs on the Tongass are case-studies for the rest of the world where lands and resources are owned by the public while being managed through the collaborative efforts of professional resource managers in government agencies, local peoples with intimate place-based knowledge, and involve multi-party stakeholders who use and depend on the resource.
    The Tongass is America’s Salmon Rainforest and the Forest Service’s Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program is a stellar example of how we manage a National Forest to produce and provide salmon for people across the entire country as well as the people who call this forest their home.

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The Tongass: Our Salmon Forest

Sitka Conservation Society Plus

The Sitka Conservation Society's primary mission is to protect and restore the ecological integrity of our Tongass National Rainforest. The Tongass is a salmon producing powerhouse, contributing 47.69 million fish to commercial fisheries each year. Keep


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The Sitka Conservation Society's primary mission is to protect and restore the ecological integrity of our Tongass National Rainforest. The Tongass is a salmon producing powerhouse, contributing 47.69 million fish to commercial fisheries each year. Keep in mind that that statistic only includes commercially caught fish and neglects to recognize the many millions of fish that feed our creatures, residents and forests with critical nutrients each year.

We recognize the paramount significance of salmon to our ecosystems, economy and culture and aim to protect this critical resource long-term. These videos showcase SCS's fishy projects and highlight our commitment to river and stream restoration work within the Tongass.

Sit back, relax and learn more about America's Salmon Forest.

To learn even more visit sitkawild.org

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