Alaska News

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest will provide this year’s US Capitol Christmas Tree

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will once again come from Alaska this year, specifically from the Tongass National Forest in Southeast.

The tree from the Tongass rainforest, known for old-growth trees, will adorn the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. It continues a tradition that began in 1970, according to a statement on Wednesday from the U.S. Forest Service.

“I am excited to announce that Alaska’s Tongass National Forest has been chosen to provide this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree to grace the West Lawn,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in the statement. “The Tongass is a special place for so many Alaskans who call it home — a place rich with resources and Native cultural history.”

“It’s an honor to have the 2024 U.S. Capitol tree come from Alaska,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in the statement. “With over 22 million acres of pristine wilderness, Alaska’s forests not only symbolize the grandeur of our nation but also embody the spirit of resilience and unity.”

It’s the second time in recent years that Alaska has provided what’s known as “The People’s Tree.”

In 2015, a 74-foot tall Lutz spruce was harvested from the Chugach National Forest near Seward to serve in that role.

The Tongass National Forest, at 17 million acres, is the largest national forest in America and has long been at the center of a political tug-of-war.


The Biden administration early last year reinstated restrictions on logging and road-building in the Tongass. That repealed a decision during the Trump administration to allow logging and road construction.

The Forest Service’s Alaska Region has partnered with nonprofits Society of American Foresters and Alaska Geographic to create a conservation education campaign tied to the project. The Society of American Foresters and Alaska Geographic will also support a “whistlestop tour” to communities across the country as the tree is transported from Alaska to Washington, D.C., the statement said.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or