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!

Featured Work

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.

Recent Posts

Untapped Opportunity on the Tongass National Forest: Small Business on Public Lands

Written for Alaska's Capital City Weekly & Juneau Empire Public lands surround Southeast Alaskans. The 17 million acre Tongass National Forest is where residents go to hike, camp, fish, and gather food to nourish their families and wood to warm their homes. It’s...

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SEATOR: Southeast’s Shellfish Safety Squad Takes on Climate Change

Written and photographed by Bethany Goodrich for Alaska's Capital City Weekly Katlian Street in Sitka is a bustling cultural and fishing hub. Along this winding harbor-side road, tightly squeezed between fishing gear shops, processing plants, and docks crowded...

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