Last Stands - Tongass Rainforest Conservation

Trump’s Forest Service is drafting new policy for Southeast Alaska that will result in clearcutting millions of acres of old-growth in the Tongass National Forest, earth's largest remaining temperate rainforest. Last Stands is a team of female conservationists who are fighting to protect ancient forests in the Tongass at this critical time. Our team is led by Tongass local Elsa Sebastian, Audubon Alaska Executive Director Dr. Natalie Dawson and scientific illustrator Mara Menahan. You can learn more about us at In 2019, Last Stands will be:
●  Undertaking an expedition to document threatened old-growth on Prince of Wales Island
●  Coordinating the development of news articles, podcasts and photos for press & nonprofits
●  Producing a 20 minute short film with filmmaker Colin Arisman of Wild Confluence Media
●  Speaking at events in Washington D.C., Southeast Alaska and cities in the Pacific Northwest
●  Engaging lawmakers and advocating for permanent protection of the Tongass



Last Stands is a volunteer run initiative, made possible through our personal time, donations and a few grants. We are committed to this work because we love the Tongass and as Ed Abbey said, “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” In order to make our work possible we need to raise $42,450. We need your help through the spring and summer of 2019 to cover:
●  Expedition expenses including 3 weeks of food, fuel and maintenance for our expedition vessel
●  Airfare & bush plane for expedition team members
●  Intern for social media and communications development
●  Postcards, petitions and printing costs for event materials
●  Travel expenses to presentations in the capitol, Southeast Alaska and Pacific Northwest cities
●  A month stipend for our project director, Elsa Sebastian

So far we have received generous donations from Sitka Salmon Shares and Peak Design. We are grateful for organization support and volunteer advising from Duct Tape Then Beer, Wild Confluence Media and Audubon Alaska.

All proceeds go directly to the Last Stands Initiative. This is an ongoing fundraising campaign. There are no minimum or maximum limits for GoFundMe fundraisers. 



The 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is the largest temperate rainforest in the world. The Tongass covers more than 1,000 islands and is cradled between the open expanse of the Pacific Ocean and the highest coastal mountain range in the world. In 2001, 9-million acres of the Tongass were protected by the Roadless Rule; a federal policy that prohibits road building and logging in unroaded National Forest. The unfragmented forest protected by the rule is integral for salmon, wildlife, and the cultural resilience of rural communities.

In Southeast Alaska, over 50% of ancient forests have been previously logged but the Roadless Rule is critical for protecting what is left. In an era of climate change, there is even deeper motive for protecting these lands: the Tongass sequesters 8% of the US’s carbon emissions. The proposed changes to the Roadless Rule have met intense opposition in the region; but the issue has not gained national attention.



Last Stands is grassroots ground-truthing initiative which brings adventure, science, and art together to better understand and communicate the value of Alaska’s threatened old-growth. The team first joined forces in 2017 to bushwhack 150 miles of rugged terrain on Prince of Wales Island. Their expedition was covered by Dirtbag Diaries podcast (listen here).

This May, the women of Last Stands will set sail: to circumnavigate and “ground truth” the largest and most threatened island in Southeast Alaska with the goal of communicating what’s at stake. Along the 350-mile voyage the team will explore and document the last remaining Stands of Ancient forest and the unique wildlife dependent on intact habitat. The expedition is an imaginative exploration of the diverse ways people value the beauty, power and value of wild places.



Last Stands is fighting for the Tongass through through several key strategies. First we will be generating public engagement with the Alaska Roadless Rule Draft Environmental Impact Statement comment period. Public comment in summer 2019 can help prevent the Roadless Rule in Alaska from being gutted by the Forest Service. We are also working to help pass federal legislation to make the Roadless Rule permanent law and prevent future administrations from attacking roadless areas on public lands. Through lobbying and public pressure, we aim to persuade lawmakers to end subsidies keeping old-growth logging alive in S.E. Alaska.

Learn more at


Donations (0)

  • Neil Wagner 
    • $200 
    • 9 d
  • Nene Wolfe 
    • $200 
    • 2 mos
  • Evelyn S Castro 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Susan and James Arisman 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Louise Brady 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos

Fundraising team: Last Stands (2) 

Elsa Sebastian 
Raised $2,050 from 11 donations
Petersburg, AK

Alyssa Wallace 
Team member
This team raised $150 from 2 other donations.
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