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Tongass Attracts Nationally Recognized Scientists


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.


Related Information:

Tongass Science Conference Agenda & participant biographies


Source of News:

Audubon Alaska


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Ketchikan, Alaska