HSC August Meeting includes Food Fair and Broad Ranging Environmental Topics

The Hoonah Stewardship Council met on August 22, 2019 to discuss the upcoming Food Fair on September 7th and community environmental topics. In attendance : Jackie Dick, Basia Trout, Niccole Williams, Ricky Contreras, Dennis Gray Jr., Glenda Hutton, Bob Hutton, Faith Grant, Ian Johnson

Next Meeting : Thursday, September 19th @ 5PM.

Food Fair

You are all invited to the 2nd annual Traditional Food Fair! September 7th, 11-2PM, at the canoe shed. On the agenda:

  • Fry Bread Competition (Signup here) or call Arianna Lapke at 945 3545
  • Community dinner (halibut chowder, deer stew, wild blueberry cobbler, fry bread)
  • Dance group
  • Games for kids
  • Door Prizes

We are looking for donations of Venison for the community stew. Please let us know if you have extra in your freezer from last year!

This event is being coordinated by HIA and Amelia Wilson and we are excited to see you there!

Environmental Pests

We discussed to Hemlock Sawflies and the Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillars (the yellow and black ones)

Hemlock Sawfly

Here’s some information from the Forest Service:

Questions are starting to come in from the public asking about what is happening to hemlock trees—if you are out flying or have a landscape view, you may be seeing patches of yellow/graying trees—these are western hemlock trees that are being affected by the hemlock sawfly which is in at least the second year of a widespread outbreak. Sawfly larvae feed on the older growth of hemlock needles; they tend to be inefficient feeders so not all needles are destroyed. Unfortunately, sawfly outbreaks tend to go hand in hand with budworm outbreaks. Budworms tend to feed on the new needles of hemlock trees, so when the two pests work together, a hemlock tree can suffer a lot of damage to its crown. It can cause dead tops and heavy needle loss but it rarely will kill large swaths of trees. Important things to tell the public— 1) it is natural and has happened before. In fact, in the mid 1950s, about 4,000,000 acres were defoliated by the sawfly. 2) it rarely kills trees and 3) there is nothing we can do as managers to stop it. We need mother nature to hand us a cold winter.

Report your sightings of the Hemlock Sawfly using this form : Reporting Form

Spotted Tussock Moths

As you know these little “wooly bears” have become very common! They seem to really like the warm and dry conditions of the last years and have exploded in numbers. They can cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions if you touch them, so just leave them be!

In-town Goings On

There are several things happening right now at the City. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Chevron will be sampling at the old tank farm to figure out what level of contamination is there. Once known they will determine the best method for cleaning that site up.
  • The city got a new grant to upgrade the burn box at the dump. They will be installing a second box back to back with the current one.
  • There is a waterline extension happening on Eagle Drive that will allow them to finish the sewer system
  • The new sewer system will be at 35% design phase next week and 65% by september. Once they have that they’ll be going out to bid to finish the design and install a new sewer system
  • The city received a grant for manhole repair. They’ll be replacing 7 manholes in Hoonah
  • Totem Raising is Friday, August 23rd
  • The City is looking at installing a snow station in Gartina to monitor snow fall that ultimately impacts our water supply. Possible opportunity to use the Tribe’s workforce to conduct snow surveys coupled with LiDAR from the HNFP.

The Forest Service is working on the design work of the Spasski Trail. We hope for trail improvements in the future!

Environmental Program Updates

We are wrapping up our Electronic waste backhaul. We have collected >6,000 pounds of waste!

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