Alaska has over 57 million acres of designated wilderness, including some of the largest swaths of intact natural landscapes found anywhere in the country. It is the largest U.S. state, with 6,640 miles of ocean coastline, more coastline than all the other states combined. It also has an estimated 100,000 glaciers, more than 100 volcanoes, and millions of acres of pristine forestland, including the largest national forest found in the United States, the Tongass National Forest, which covers 16.8 million acres.
We spoke with Pete Schneider, Natural Resource Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center within Tongass National Forest. The Forest Service oversees the Juneau Icefield and its glaciers, along with the forestland.
In the video above, Pete talks about the creeks and lake fed by the glacier, and the role they play for the local sockeye salmon. He emphasizes the impact even small changes to an ecosystem can have on the wildlife therein, and the importance of keeping our natural environment as intact and unchanged as possible.
To learn more about the icefield, glaciers, and woodlands found in Tongass National Forest, check out our other video stories from Juneau: