Adressing Sustainable Forestry in Southeast Alaska
Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is a national treasure. At 17 million acres, the Tongass includes vast old growth temperate rainforests that are increasingly rare globally. The Tongass is also a place that has sustained the people and communities of Southeast Alaska for generations. Whether through providing food and other subsistence uses to the rural communities in the region, supporting cultural practices and identity, drawing people to the region for world-class recreation and fishing, or supporting wood products and other forest-based industries, the Tongass is vital to the economic and cultural well-being of the region. The Forest is also important to the climate; while the Tongass comprises about 2 percent of the Nation’s forests, according to one scientific study it contains the equivalent of 8 percent of the carbon sequestered in the forests of the conterminous United States. The Department of Agriculture is committed to maintaining Southeast Alaska’s exceptional natural resources in perpetuity. USDA is equally committed to doing its part to ensure that the communities within and adjacent to the Tongass National Forest are economically vibrant. These two goals must go hand in hand.
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