Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Partnering To Protect The Tongass - The Forest Of Salmon

As a general rule all fly fisherman love wild places.  Its a fact that the desire to trek the untouched banks of a forgotten river and cast a fly to a fish that has never seen another human is a dream shared by us all. It is the reason why we search over topo maps and internet postings looking for that hidden blue line few people know about. It is also why when we find that special place we guard it like a grizzly bear protecting a cub. So when I heard the Outdoor Blogger Network had joined forces with TU, TenkaraUSA, Fishpond, and Rio in an effort to bring attention to the Tongass National Forest, I thought it was a worthy cause to support and share with you.
Frankly I had never heard of the Tongass but that is why I jumped into researching it. It only took a brief search to find that it was only the name I failed to recognize. The area known as the Tongass is the wild part of Alaska most of us lower forty eighters think about when we think about wild Alaska. It also is the nations largest National Forest. Covered with untouched stands of old growth trees, wild salmon streams, and lush green mountain sides, these forests are about as wild as we can get in this ever evolving world of highways, expanding suburbs, and cellphone towers. It is just the kind of place you would imagine Salmon populations would thrive. One glance at how much we have changed places like the Smoky Mountains in the east and the Western Rockies and you look at the Tongass as one of the few places where pure nature still can and does exist.
Trout Unlimited has always supported protecting wild places so it was no surprise that their Tongass 77 project sought to protect these wild salmon watersheds.

What might surprise you is that the Tongas77 effort also includes the support of the Alaskan commercial fishing industry and the jobs they produce. Using a common sense approach the folks at Tout Unlimited have put together a valuable collection of data that shows just how important these lands are to preserving the commercial Salmon fishery.
I have never been to the Tongass, or Alaska for that matter, but it is definitely one of those wild places I think about when sitting at my fly tying bench. Everything I have read on the Tongass and its wild rivers tells me that its lush banks and pure waters are the stuff dreams are made of. It would be a long trip from the Southeast but for this angler it would be the trip of a lifetime to cast a fly to a Tongass Salmon.
If you are interested in reading up on the effort to protect this wild place I have attached a few links below. Do your part and share in this effort to protect a wild part of America for future generations. The more people that know about the Tongass then the more people will want to protect it.
This is my submission to the Trout Unlimited 2013 Blogger Tour sponsored byFishpondTenkara USA and RIO, and hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network.


Steve Z said...

Good luck with the contest!

Unknown said...

thanks Steve - help protect a wonderful fishery and possibly get some swag in the process... thats a win win!

cofisher said...

Good job Joel and good job with the contest!