Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) inventories Alaskan forests in the 37.8-million-acre coastal region that stretches 1,170 miles from Kodiak Island in the southwest to the Canadian border in the southeast. Two groups of forest types are represented: boreal forest types on the western Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet region, and coastal temperate rain forests in the rest of the inventory unit. The most characteristic tree species for the coastal rainforests province are Sitka spruce and western hemlock, with mountain hemlock at higher elevations. In the southeast portion of this province, yellow-cedar, western redcedar, and small amounts of lodgepole pine are found. Cottonwood grows along riparian areas, with alder, willow, and birch shrubs also occurring in wetland areas.

Map of southeast Alaska

  • Approximately 40 percent of the coastal inventory unit is forested (15.3 million acres)
    • Constitutes 12 percent of all forest land in Alaska
    • 34.6 percent is reserved from management for wood products
  • Almost 88 percent of the coastal forest is publicly owned and managed
    • The two largest national forests in the United States are found in the coastal inventory region; the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska, and the Chugach National Forest in south-central Alaska.
    • Although private ownership is only about 12 percent of the forested area in the region, it contains 24 percent of timberland
  • Total volume of growing-stock trees on timberland is 29 billion cubic feet or 157 billion board feet.
    • Western hemlock has the highest growing-stock volume on timberland, followed by Sitka spruce.
  • Nearly 1.3 billion tons of biomass are stored within the live trees of coastal Alaska
Map of southeast Alaska with overview