Journey into the Tongass with Understory

Tuesday, December 07, 2021
7:00am Alaska Online Event

Journey into the Tongass with Understory

December 07, 2021

Join us as we embark upon a journey into the heart of the Tongass National Rainforest. Now, more than ever, we need your help to restore protections and this documentary provides a unique look into the urgent need for us all to participate in the 60-day comment period in order to ensure the longevity of this special place that's vital for our local, national and global ecosystems.



Understory is a 40-minute long documentary film that takes us deep into Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest remaining coastal temperate
rainforest on the planet. Elsa Sebastian is a young local fisherman who grew up “off-grid” in a remote fishing village surrounded by the vast, ancient forest. When Elsa learns that the United States government is axing environmental protections for nine million acres of the Tongass, she is driven to action; first fixing up an old sailboat, and then setting sail on a 350-mile expedition along the coastal rainforest.

Elsa is joined by Audubon Alaska's Executive Director Dr. Natalie Dawson, a biologist who has spent decades studying Alaska wildlife, and Mara Menahan, a botanical illustrator. For a month the team documents old-growth trees threatened by logging, visits streams teeming with salmon, bears witness to the dark aftermath of clearcuts, and learns about indigenous cultural connections to the Tongass. As Elsa, Natalie, and Mara directly face the devastating impacts of the timber industry, they struggle to hold onto hope and realize that saving our planet’s last ancient rainforests is more urgent than they could have imagined.

Take action now!

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