A New Industry for the Tongass?

Why are heavy equipment operators in the Tongass actually dragging big logs into streams?

Falls Creek Construction ©Bob Christensen

They’re restoring natural conditions that were disrupted by past logging. In old-growth forests, some trees fall into streams, making natural pools that provide good habitat for fish, especially salmon.

On many parts of the Tongass, logging operations stripped all the trees from along stream banks. Without those trees, water flows faster and straighter, making it harder for fish to survive. To help restore more fish-friendly conditions, the Forest Service hires contractors to put woody debris back into the water.

This restoration work is one example of the Forest Service’s new, more sustainable management philosophy for the Tongass. Projects like these can provide local jobs as the agency phases out heavy logging of old-growth forest.