Exciting Announcement for SE Businesses!

Southeast Conference, Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) are excited to announce a second round of funding for commercial building audits through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

SE Energy Audit Application Audit Flyer2 copy


If you are a commercial building owner, manager or tenant in Southeast Alaska, now is your chance to get an energy assessment of your building. Thanks to the U.S.D.A. grant, businesses pay just 25% of the cost of the audit!Cost_Audits

Last year, businesses and public facilities in Hoonah, Haines and Prince of Wales Island participated, receiving 29 Level I energy audits and 5 Level II audits. The 34 audited buildings totaled over 230,000 ft2. In all, the recommended energy efficiency measures total $382,701. These lighting, HVAC and other recommendations will yield an estimated annual savings of $173,782, a 2.2-year payback if implemented.

Interested Southeast businesses should contact Robert Venables (energy@seconference.org) or Shaina Kilcoyne (s.kilcoyne@realaska.org). Communities will need at least three businesses to get them on the Auditor’s schedule, so talk to your neighbors!

With an audit, businesses will be eligible for USDA’s Rural Energy for America grant and loan Program for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Loan Guarantees are competed continuously throughout the year.

Strategic Energy Planning in Hoonah

Community members clustered around tables at the Hoonah Indian Association (HIA) community building in Hoonah on Sunday afternoon. Some had already celebrated Mother’s Day in the morning and now were here to discuss energy solutions in their small islanded-grid town of 800. Hoonah became one of five high priority areas for the Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory when HIA was accepted into the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) program in 2015.

Participants categorize energy projects and goals for discussion

Participants categorize energy projects and goals for discussion

The first step of the program is to complete a three-day community meeting in order to develop a Strategic Energy Plan for Hoonah.  Many efficiency and renewable energy priorities were discussed throughout the three day meeting.

You can find energy data on Hoonah and all Alaskan communities through the Alaska Energy Data Gateway.

Community members discuss an energy vision with the help of moderator Paul Kabotie, Kabotie Consulting

Community members discuss an energy vision with the help of moderator Paul Kabotie, Kabotie Consulting


HNFP : Community Outreach at Clan Workshop

HNFP : Community Outreach at Clan Workshop

The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) is unique in many ways because it trying to set a new standard for collaboration between private landowners, public land managers and community residents. Its science driven approach provides data to land managers and land users so they can interface and fuse the needs of subsistence users and timber production. A particularly important uniqueness of the HNFP is the ability of the community to provide feedback on how the results and land management implications of this collaborative work can benefit them. At the Clan Workshop held from April 13-16th in Hoonah, Brian Kleinhenz (Sealaska) and Ian Johnson (Hoonah Indian Association Environmental Director, Sustainable Southeast Partnership) and other partners started a dialogue with clan leaders to review the status of the project to date and “What success of the HNFP means to them, and to the community”. The conversation was engaging, and yielded some very useful insight into how the HNFP can benefit the community.

Ian Johnson presents the progress of the HNFP to at the April Clan Workshop in Hoonah.

Ian Johnson presents the progress of the HNFP at the April Clan Workshop in Hoonah.

Progress Report

  1. The project has employed 6 residents of Hoonah to conduct surveys. In 2015 they conducted road surveys and stream surveys
  2. In 2016 the crew of Hoonah residents will be tackling surveys to assess deer densities in timber treatments, volume of slash in pre-commercially thinned stands, road condition, culvert function, anadromous fish distribution, and fish habitat condition.
  3. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data have provided elevation data for the study area at an incredibly precise (1m) scale. These data are a powerful toolset for this project and for designing other projects where detailed data are required. The data also provide insight in the characteristics of timber stands and will be important for understanding tree characteristics within the stand.
  4. The data collection for the HNFP will be mostly completed by the end of this year, and we will begin writing the final land management plan based on our results and what we find are the needs of the community.

Community Needs and Feedback

  1. There is strong interest to expand this research to freshwater lakes that may support a sockeye run, or that currently do. Sockeye are important cultural and subsistence resource for residents in Hoonah as well as Angoon. It would also be good for future projects to incorporate Point Adolphus for its historical and cultural importance.
  2. Culturally significant areas are not included in the current land management plan, but an inventory of them would benefit the plan
  3. The HNFP should integrate its work in with the schools. Bringing kids outdoors is a great learning tool for them, a powerful outreach tool for the HNFP, and can inspire kids to pursue work in the outdoors that will bring them back to Hoonah.
  4. This project could enhance the commercial harvest of blueberry picking, but the harvest of any subsistence resource (e.g., bluerries, devils club, salmon) should be done honoring the traditional ways.

Upcoming activities:

The outreach at the the clan workshop was the beginning of an extensive plan to engage the community.

  1. Ian Johnson is available to talk about this project and get community feedback at almost any time. You have several ways to contact him including : stopping by his office (#1 at the Community Center), calling him at 907-723-6044, or emailing at hoonahcatalyst@gmail.com.
  2. Watch the community bulletin boards for upcoming meetings in regards to HNFP. Meetings will also be advertised on the Facebook Group Hoonah Buy, Sell, Trade
  3. There will be a block of time each week to meet with Ian to discuss the project and have a (strong) cup of coffee. See his office door or call to find out the date and time.
  4. There may be an opportunity to go out and see the work that the Hoonah crews do! If you would like to spend a little time out in the field, be sure to contact Ian.



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