Written by Courtney James, Chad Ward, Ethan Kadake, Brandon Ward, Bree Travica, and Audrey Clavijo

Wow! Week Number 5 is already at a close! Through this blog, we have updated our readers on what we have been doing each week, but we have not told you much about ourselves. Here is an introduction to our crew:

Hey, my name is Bree Travica. I am currently 14 years old and I’ve lived in Kake for 12 years. My favorite thing to do in Kake is to cruise with my friends around the island. This is my first year working with YCC/TRAYLS and so far I have enjoyed working with my crew and exploring the woods. My favorite thing we did for work was planting red and yellow cedar trees.

Bree Travica

My name is Ethan Kadake. I am 16 years old. I’ve lived in Kake, Alaska my whole life. I like to hunt and fish here in Kake. My favorite thing about this crew is working on our new trail on Grave Island.

Ethan Kadake

Hey, my name is Brandon Ward. I’m 15 years old and I’ve lived in Kake for 14 years. My favorite thing to do in Kake is to go swimming and to hang out with friends. On my own, I love playing video games. What I like to do with the crew is ride out the road in the car.

Brandon Ward

Hello, I’m Courtney James. I’m 18 years old, living in Kake, Alaska. I’ve lived in Kake most of my life. It’s a beautiful town with lovely sunsets. My favorite thing to do is to chase sunsets and go to open-gym to play basketball. I also like spending time with my family and friends, hanging out and doing things. My favorite part of being on this crew is being around the good energy- the crew makes my days better by making me laugh and I love going out to explore new places around Kake.

Courney James

Hey, my name is Chad. I am 17 years old. I have lived in Kake for about 15 years and think it’s a nice place to live. What I like to do here is to cruise around with friends. What I really like to do on the crew is to go out in the field to do timber and stream surveys.

Chad Ward

This past week was supposed to be the last week of our season. But, SIKE! The crew wanted to extend the season by 1-2 weeks to finish all of the great projects that we started. The Organized Village of Kake, Spruce Root, and the USFS helped us organize funding to allow us to continue! This means that our Evaluation Day has been pushed back to a later date in August. We are very grateful to all of our partners that helped to make this happen.

The highlight of last week was planting cedar seedlings to celebrate National Forest Week! This is part of an experiment directed by Adelaide Johnson (USFS) and Gary Lawton (Sealaska) as part of the Wood Products for Culture & Heritage Project. We really enjoyed using Bob Christensen’s GPS and GIS Mapping surveys to complete this work. We hope they grow!

We also had a fun and scenic boat ride across to Baranof Island where we had planned to visit the Warm Springs as an end-of-season celebration. Due to some mechanical issues we did not make it but we enjoyed whale watching as we slowly made our way back to Kake.

Launched in 2017, the Training Rural Alaskan Youth Leaders and Students (TRAYLS) Program provides hands-on experience with natural resource management technical skills and cultural knowledge while preparing youth to occupy leadership roles in their communities.  This year, TRAYLS and Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) programs are active in three Southeast communities: Kake, Hoonah, and Angoon.