Tongass National Forest Social and Economic Monitoring


Project Title: Social and Economic Monitoring of the Tongass National Forest and Southeast Alaska Communities  


Project Researchers:  

  • Heidi Huber-Stearns, Assistant Research Professor, Associate Director-Ecosystem Workforce Program and Director-Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon 

  • Anna Santo, Faculty Research Assistant, Ecosystem Workforce Program and Institute for a Sustainable Environment 


Project Collaborator:  

  • Erin Steinkruger, Programs Director at the Tatoosh School based on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska  



The Tongass Advisory Committee recommended to develop a plan to track social and economic conditions in Southeast Alaska as part of the Tongass National Forest’s (NF) transition to predominantly young-growth timber harvest. The objectives for this project were to: 1) collect, analyze, and present a baseline analysis of social and economic conditions; and 2) develop and present a social and economic monitoring plan that can track social and economic change in affected communities around the Tongass NF and that reflects stakeholder interests. 


Monitoring focused on four main questions:  

  1. Socioeconomic conditions and context in communities surrounding the Tongass NF
  2. How timber sales, restoration projects, and other natural resources projects on the Tongass NF affect communities in Southeast Alaska 
  3. The status of collaborative work on the Tongass NF and communities in Southeast Alaska 
  4. Stakeholder perceptions and concerns about changes occurring in Southeast Alaska communities and on the Tongass NF 

We provide guidance on the types of indicators, data sources, and methods to use to address key monitoring questions. The intent of this work is to guide future efforts to replicate this monitoring process and build on the existing baseline report.  


This work was funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the state of Alaska Division of Forestry as part of the Tongass Young Growth Challenge Cost Share Agreement with the USDA Forest Service. 

 Working Paper Appendices and Datasets: 

Below are links the appendices from the Working Paper. In some cases the appendices are datasets used for this project that were obtained through information requests to the Tongass National Forest and USDA Forest Service Region 10. We include both the unedited raw datasets obtained directly from the forest, as well as the cleaned datasets we used to complete our analyses. Please direct any questions about these datasets to