To better prepare the Tongass for what the uncertain future might hold in terms of climate change in Southeast Alaska, the US Forest Service and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) initiated the first of a three-phase vulnerability assessment.

The Alaska landscape is changing, both in terms of effects of human activities as a consequence of increased population, social and economic development and their effects on the local and broad landscape; and those effects that accompany naturally occurring hazards such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Some of the most prevalent changes, however, are those resulting from a changing climate, with both near term and potential upcoming effects expected to continue into the future.