Tongass National Forest
Tongass National Forest. Photo by andipantz/iStockphoto.com
Though Alaska is a state of great expanse, small places matter. As the critical first project of The Conservation Fund’s Coastal Alaska Initiative, more than 830 acres of rugged Cape Bingham cliffs and 12 miles of pristine coastline are now protected.
Cape Bingham is dramatic and unforgettable. Sea-battered cliffs rise sharply to snow-capped peaks. Sprawling colonies of raucous sea lions, otters and harbor seals share the surrounding waters with migrating whales. Brown bears hunt in the majestic temperate rainforests. And Cape Bingham’s craggy granite barrier islands shelter Southeast Alaska’s inner passage—its quiet coves, deep inlets and productive tidal marshes.
Cape Bingham represents the crowning achievement in an extraordinary $5 million Alaska conservation campaign initiated by the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, a remarkable commitment that motivated other donors and enabled the Fund to leverage the foundation’s charitable investment. Beginning in 1998, the Goldman Fund has fueled protection of almost 10,000 acres of Alaskan wildlife habitat in such singular areas as the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Kodiak Island, Wood-Tikchik State Park and Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.
Windham Bay, at the heart of southeast Alaska’s 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest, is a unique combination of lush rainforest and fresh and saltwater estuaries that create a bird and whale-watcher’s paradise. With support from Too Far, a California-based publishing company, the Fund and the U.S. Forest Service added more than 100 acres of old-growth forest to the Tongass National Forest’s Chuck River Wilderness, which safeguards stands of Sitka that harbor bald eagle, brown bear, flying squirrels and moose.