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Defending Alaska's Tongass National Forest from the Big Thorne Timber Sale

Bears hunt for salmon in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

Bears hunt for salmon in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.

USDA Photo


The Tongass National Forest is the ‘crown jewel’ of our forest system, but it has suffered as a result of the decades of unsustainable clear-cutting of old-growth trees.

Stopping industrial-scale old-growth logging and preserving wildlife habitat is essential for those wanting to experience the majesty of the country’s most iconic rainforest, as well as those pursuing the Tongass’ unparalleled hunting and fishing opportunities.

Regrettably, in the summer of 2013, the Forest Service approved the “Big Thorne” timber project on north central Prince of Wales Island, which is the largest, most aggressive timber sale on the Tongass in 20 years. It would log almost entirely remnant old-growth stands that are vital to the fate of deer and wolf populations in the area as well as many other species.

Fortunately, citizen appeals of the Big Thorne project persuaded the agency to put it on hold while a task force re-examines the environmental consequences.

Case Updates

July 29, 2015 | Feature

Saving the Forest for the Trees

Alaska's Tongass National Forest is home to centuries-old trees and rivers flowing among thousands of islands. It is also the last forest where the fight continues to keep timber sales out of roadless areas.