The North Kuiu and Security Roadless Areas are located on Kuiu Island in the Tongass National Forest within Southeast Alaska. Roadless areas in the Tongass have exceptional wilderness value and areas of high biological value. Although about half of the big old trees on the Tongass have already been felled for logging, the Roadless Rule helps protect about half of what is left. Roadless areas are home to salmon, spruce grouse, goshawks, bears, wolves, and many other birds and wildlife. Roadless areas provide humans with opportunities for fishing, hunting, bird-watching, backpacking, and wilderness solitude.
In the North Kuiu Roadless Area and the Security Roadless Area on Kuiu Island, the connections between land and sea are everywhere. These roadless areas are home to the rare Pacific marten, a forest-dwelling weasel that relies on forests for denning and resting habitat, as well as access to ocean resources for seasonal food. Marten feed on the rich silver salmon runs in these roadless areas. These important salmon runs also feed one of the largest known densities of black bears found in the world, and provide nutrients to the northernmost red cedars on the Tongass National Forest. Moose have recently colonized this island illustrating the constantly changing nature of island life. The Security IRA has been important for people for countless generations, and the nearby Kake Tribe of the Tlingit Indigenous Peoples of southeast Alaska have long used the many coves, bays, and estuaries within these roadless areas for traditional activities.
The Roadless Rule operates on the Tongass to protect these roadless areas and others from roadbuilding and logging. But efforts to chip away at these protections are underway, and the Tongass roadless areas are threatened by a rollback that specifically targets the big old trees that provide homes for wildlife.