Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
The Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the USA, covering 17 million acres of Southeast Alaska. We stepped foot in sections of this forest in three different ports on our cruise up the Inside Passage.
Tongass contains one of the last remaining temperate rainforests in the world. Yet forests make up only 60% of Tongass. The forest also encompasses wetlands, fjords, glaciers and mountains.
Theodore Roosevelt the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve in 1902 and Tongass National Forest in 1907. The two joined in 1908 to create a huge reserve covering most of Southeast Alaska.
The indigenous people took the government to court for theft of their ancestral lands. In Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska v. United States, the court found that indeed the Tlingit and Haida had a rightful claim to the land. They settled the case in 1968 for $7.5 million.
The Juneau Ranger District surrounds Alaska’s capitol city. Juneau is also the headquarters for nearby Admiralty Island National Monument. It includes nearly a million acres of Wilderness Area.
We explored Tongass in Juneau by riding the tram to the top of Mount Roberts and taking an easy one-mile hike to a glacier. We also boated through Stephen’s Passage with Admiralty Island on the west side of the channel.
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Designation: National Forest
Date designated/established: September 10, 1907
Date of my visit: June 2, 2022