Community Forestry + Fisheries
For thousands of years the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples have adapted to nature in southeast Alaska and relied upon its coastal and terrestrial resources for food, art, trade and tradition. Today, traditional subsistence and commercial use of natural resources continue to serve as the foundation of southeast Alaskan life.
Our community partners are developing projects with private, state an federal land managers to ensure that local priorities and local employment are central to the management of their surrounding natural landscapes. We work to integrate local knowledge and the best available science into an adaptive approach to resource stewardship. We are confident that natural resource stewardship work can be done in a way that results in increased local capacity, economic opportunity, and improved watershed health across the region.
Our approach is two-fold. We focus on community-based forestry and community-based fisheries. We believe the natural setting and subsistence lifestyle of rural community residents in southeast Alaska is inherently well-suited to steward the lands and waters that surround them. Rural residents rely upon natural resources for both subsistence food and commercial economies, their communities are distributed throughout the region, and they have been practicing natural resource stewardship in one of the most dynamic landscapes on earth for millennia. Local knowledge is an investment we believe will pay dividends for generations to come!
Check out some of our ongoing community forestry and fisheries projects across Southeast Alaska.
The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP)
The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) is a science-based, landscape scale, community forest approach to watershed planning and project implementation whose overall goal is to achieve a measurable and resilient blend of timber, salmon and deer production, local economic diversification and improved watershed health.
Sea Otters and Subsistence
The recolonization of the coastal waters by sea otters is highly contested in Southeast Alaska. The Russian Fur Trade eradicated sea otters until they were reintroduced in the 1960s. Although it took a while for sea otters to re-establish themselves, they appear to be in a state of rapid expansion at this point. Sea Otters prey on species that are important to both subsistence and commercial harvesting activities and many believe that if they are not controlled that they will end resident’s ability to gather crab, clams, abalone and many other species. In order to gather scientific and traditional knowledge together, we teamed up with University of Alaska, Fairbanks student Sonia Ibarra who is leading a study of the impacts of Sea Otters on community clam beds in Hydaburg, Klawock and Kake.
Hydaburg Stream Team
The Hydaburg Cooperative Association has been collaborating with The Nature Conservancy and Kai Environmental on developing a local crew of stream survey technicians. This crew has been working for the last few years on adding anadromous stream designations to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Anadromous Waters Catalog. This designation provides important protections to fish habitat while providing the local community with a more comprehensive and up to date inventory of these important subsistence assets.
Written by Chandler O'Connell In Sitka, Alaska a favorite coffee shop among locals called the Backdoor Café did a little renovating this season. Alana Peterson, who is both the owner of the Backdoor Cafe and the program director of the Sustainable Southeast...read more
Written by Quinn Aboudara, Supporting Photographs by Kendall Rock, Lee House and Quinn Aboudara The water laps against the side of the boat gently, the sound rhythmic and steady, like a heartbeat. The engine thrums softly in anticipation then roars to life as I twist...read more
A Reflection written by Sonia Ibarra, PhD Candidate, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks Over the last two years, I have been very fortunate to attend the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Conference alongside...read more