Cause for Celebration: New Protections Announced for Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

Cause for Celebration: New Protections Announced for Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

Biden announces a suite of protections and a new approach to managing the Tongass

Cause for Celebration: New Protections Announced for Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest | Sitka Salmon Shares

As the wild salmon season starts to gain momentum, we could not be more grateful for the amazing news about the Tongass National Forest. The Biden administration announced a suite of protections and a new approach to management of the Tongass, which lies in Sitka’s backyard. The decision includes reinstatement of the Roadless Rule, an end to logging of the Tongass’ old growth trees, a comprehensive Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy, and a renewed commitment to working with Tribes.

Here’s what Tribal and conservation voices are saying about the decision:

  • “I think they heard us loud and clear, and I think that’s why this announcement came out today.” —Joel Jackson, President, Organized Village of Kake.
  • “This is one of the first steps that we have seen towards the racial equity that was promised toward our Indigenous communities from the Biden administration.... We have a lot on the table — the forest is everything to us.” —Marina Anderson, Administrator, Organized Village of Kasaan.
  • “We are glad to see the Biden administration is fulfilling its promise to address the climate crisis by committing to protect our nation’s best solution to climate change — protecting the lands and waters of the Tongass National Forest,” —Natalie Dawson, Executive Director at Audubon Alaska.
  • “This announcement marks the beginning of the end of the fight of many decades — a fight for place, community, and a vision of the Tongass that is bigger, richer, and more vivid than just clearcutting our old-growth forests to ship them off to the highest bidder.” —Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

Many of our members are likely familiar with the Tongass. You’ve heard us talk about this world-class ecosystem in Southeast Alaska that plays a vital role in sustaining the wild salmon that our company, our fishermen, and the communities and cultures of Southeast Alaska rely on. The Tongass also lends a big hand in combating climate change, sequestering more than 40% of the carbon stored in all the national forests in the United States.

Tongass National Forest outside Sitka, Alaska.

We’re proud to have supported the cause of Tongass protection for many years by helping to spread the word to our members, weighing in as a business, and donating to groups leading the charge through our 1% to the Wild Fund.

We have a deep well of gratitude for the many generations of conservation, fishing, Tribal, and community leaders in Southeast Alaska and beyond who have fought year after year to protect the Tongass.

A huge thank you also to our members. Your membership to Sitka Salmon Shares supports a better future for wild fisheries, the wild places that nourish them, and the people that depend on them.

We encourage you to check out some of the organizations working to protect the Tongass and consider supporting them on this momentous occasion:

You can also celebrate and learn more about the Tongass by watching the short documentary Understory that Sitka Salmon Shares supported through our 1% to the Wild Fund. Viewing is free through Sunday, July 18. Visit this link and enter the password “huckleberry.”

We look forward to delivering amazing wild salmon to our members’ doorsteps starting in August that has been made possible by the Tongass!

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