Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Tongass 77

The Tongass National Forest is home to some of the largest tracts of intact temperature rain forest remaining on the planet. The region which supports an abundance of fish and wildlife is also under threat from a laundry list of industrial developments, both of which produce catastrophic impacts on wild salmon and their habitats.

A coalition of organizations including the Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited conducted a comprehensive study of the salmon habitat and populations in the Tongass National Forest and consulted local communities to identify the best of the best salmon habitat in the region. The process resulted in a call for the permanent protection of the "Tongass 77", watersheds which constitute habitats which cannot be sacrificed to logging, mining, or hydropower. These watersheds represent only about 40% of the land base of the Tongass, balancing extractive industries with the protection of habitat and fish populations that support the ecosystems and economies of Southeast Alaska to the tune of a billion dollars.

The spring issue of The Osprey includes two outstanding articles about Southeast Alaska, including one about the habitats, life-histories and conservation of steelhead in the Tongass and another about the treat mining is posing to the mythical Taku watershed.

Learn more about the Tongass:

and the rivers of the transboundary region:

Sign on and join the growing number of voices calling for permanent protection of the Tongass 77