Tongass Attracts Nationally
February 23, 2009
Juneau, Alaska - Nationally recognized scientists from Alaska
and throughout North America convened in Juneau last week to
discuss and share current scientific research related to the
Tongass National Forest.
As one of the most significant old growth temperate rainforests
left in the world, the Tongass is a national treasure, and it
provides vital economic, recreational, and subsistence values
for the region. The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska
is our nation's largest national forest. Nearly 17 million acres
in size, it encompasses the largest intact temperate rainforest
on earth, and it is home to abundant fish and wildlife.
"The Tongass National Forest provides us with the greatest
opportunity in the nation, if not the world, to maintain intact
watersheds with all their ecological parts including bear, salmon,
Marbled Murrelets, and many other species that are rare or declining
in the lower 48 states," said John Schoen, Senior Scientist
for Audubon Alaska. "These opportunities are rare in other
parts of the world."
According to Schoen, the conference allowed scientists to review
key research topics of coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems,
discuss emerging trends, and help inform future management decisions.
"It is important for scientists and forest managers to have
opportunities like this to share their unique knowledge about
this forest," said Dave Albert, Ecologist and GIS Analyst
for The Nature Conservancy. "We had the benefit of some
of the best minds in the field in Juneau this week."
The first two days of the conference focused on in depth review
of key issues related to the conservation and management of temperate
rainforests and the Tongass in particular. On the last day of
the conference, scientists presented papers to the public on
topics including watershed ecology, island biogeography, old
growth management, and commercial use of the Tongass.
Audubon Alaska and The Nature Conservancy jointly sponsored the
Juneau conference in cooperation with the Alaska Chapter of The
Wildlife Society, US Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish
& Game, and US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Tongass Science Conference
Agenda & participant biographies
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