Special message regarding renewed protection for Tongass National Forest

Aerial photograph of forest surrounding a clearcut, bare area with roads.

Recently clearcut section on the Tongass National Forest adjacent to older clearcuts in early successional stages, August 2010. Creative Commons photo by Alan Wu.


Last Wednesday, the Biden administration announced it would restore protection against logging and road-building to more than 9 million acres of Tongass National Forest. Those protections went into effect on Friday. As a new week begins, we’re still celebrating and launching into our work buoyed by this success.

Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, and a natural climate solution of global importance.

Research funded by Woodwell Climate’s Fund for Climate Solutions and led by Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Wayne Walker has been critical in quantifying Tongass’ significant carbon storage and climate cooling contributions. A 2022 study co-authored by Dr. Walker, Geospatial Analyst Seth Gorelik, and Dr. Dominick DellaSala of Wild Heritage showed that Tongass National Forest holds more carbon than the United States emits in a year, and most of that is in productive old growth and roadless areas. That report was delivered to the Biden administration, and Dr. Walker and Dr. DellaSala have been vocal in calling for protection of these areas. Their efforts paid off.

This is a timely example of how climate science makes a real-world difference. Generous support from many donors makes this progress on forests and climate possible. Thank you!


R. Max Holmes

President and CEO