Land and Resource Stewardship in Hydaburg


Transporting habitat mapping gear at Eek Lake.

Project Name: Land and Resource Stewardship in Hydaburg

Community: Hydaburg

Support Organization: The Nature Conservancy

Support Organization Staff: Norm Cohen

Target Outcomes: Community Vision, Capacity Development

Strategies: Capacity Development, Sustainable Economic Development, Restoration, Tribal Collaboration, Storytelling

P&P Funding: $40,000

Partners: Hydaburg Cooperative Association, City of Hydaburg

Other Funding: $260,000

Narrative Description: Hydaburg has a series of projects being implemented by the Stewardship Coordinator hired in partnership with the Hydaburg Community Association, as well as the Tribal Planner supported in part by TNC, including: Marine Debris Cleanup, Fish Habitat Mapping, subsistence salmon research, community forest planning, and coastal resource planning.

Marine Debris:  Cleaning the beaches and the submerged areas around the boat harbor and old cannery site is part of a larger project to construct a new dock system at the community’s boat harbor.  Over the years, sunken boats and hazardous materials have degraded the habitat at the boat harbor.  The clean-up projects will enable the harbor to again be a driver of the economy as well as to ensure that marine subsistence resources are in a healthy condition and safe to eat.

Subsistence Salmon Research and Fish Habitat Mapping:  For several years, the tribe has operated a salmon weir at Hetta Inlet, the community’s primary source for subsistence salmon.  The information is helping to ensure that the fish runs remain strong so that the community can continue to rely upon them for their nutritional and cultural values.  This salmon research program has been expanded to include salmon habitat surveys in all of the systems important to the community.  In 2012, tribal members surveyed the Hetta and Eek Lake systems.  The purpose of these surveys is to make sure that all portions of the watersheds important for salmon habitat are identified and appropriate reaches are included in the State’s Anadromous Waters Catalog, where they are given greater protection from competing development activities.  The tribe plans to conduct additional stream habitat surveys in the upcoming years and has applied for funding for four watersheds in 2013.

Coastal Resource Planning:  Despite the failure of the State to reauthorize a coastal management program, the community is updating its 1984 plan to identify those areas important for community subsistence and commercial activities.  The plan will identify mechanisms for recognizing and protecting these areas from non-compatible development.

Community Forest Plan:  The community has many opportunities from the surrounding forest, both a native corporation and federal land.  These include:  forest stewardship; cultural use of the forest, including logs for totem poles; bio-energy; and economic use of a newly purchased sawmill.  The tribe will begin the planning process in November 2012.