Hoonah Community Forest Project
The Hoonah Community Forest Project emerged from a community conversation facilitated by Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) in February of 2007. Twenty-one people from Hoonah attended, including customary and traditional users, charter boat operators, a bear guide, the owner and six employees of Icy Straits Lumber, a Hoonah Indian Association council member, teachers, and others. The discussion quickly centered on how the area right around Hoonah should be managed. People were quite aware that the biggest and best trees around Hoonah have already been logged and they’re concerned about the “footprint” of future logging. That said, they also wanted to keep Icy Straits lumber mill going and employing people.
SEACC partnered with SEAWEAD in an effort to create a tool that can be used to communicate the needs of the community, the current state of the forest around Hoonah, and the opportunities for helping the landscape bounce back more quickly from the “footprint” left from past logging.
The purpose of the Hoonah Community Forest project is to provide tools and recommendations for management of the landscape that is immediately accessible to the community of Hoonah, Alaska i.e. “The Hoonah Community Forest" and to support collaboration on creating a blueprint for the development of healthy social and ecological systems in the Hoonah landscape. We sought to:
- Identify places for logging that would have the least impact on important fish and wildlife habitat;
- Identify areas where restoration of fish and wildlife habitat would have the greatest impact in terms of community use and ecological value; and,
- Actively build the community’s uses and needs into a landscape design through the concept of a Community Use Area.
Existing data, experiences from ground-truthing visits and interviews with locals were synthesized in the production of a management guide map that includes three general land use designations: Wilderness Opportunity, Fish and Wildlife Priority and Timber Opportunity. Check out the report.