Hoonah Stewardship Council meets with HNFP Technical Team to review Public Land Management Plan

HSC Meeting Results

On October 8th, the Hoonah Stewardship Council had a meeting focused on the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership. Regular HSC members and community members met at City Hall and on there agenda here:

  1. A review of the 2019 Stream Restoration Video
  2. A first look at the Public Land Management Plan
  3. A review of online data mapping and resources
  4. Discussion around community thoughts and need
In attendance from the HNFP Technical Team : Doug Martin, Samia Savell, Bob Christensen, Lauren Sill, Clare Doig, and Basia Trout. From the Community and HSC : Stephanie Harold, Jackie Dick, Niccole Williams, Kassie Pesch-Johnson, Ernestine Hanlon, Wanda Culp, Dennis Gray, Ben McLuckie, Arianna Lapke, Sam Sheakley, Paul Camolli, Mary Camolli, Bob Christensen, Phillip Sharclane, Pam

Stream Restoration Video

Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to see the Stream Restoration video. Showing it to the audience in Hoonah was a nice way to kick off the night. Folks were grateful of the work done and to have a video to review it with.

The video was a stepping stone to discuss the work we did this summer including :

  1. 116 forest “gaps” installed in over 200 acres of young growth. These wildlife gaps are designed to increase wildlife habitat in the forest stand.
  2. Completed hand tool restorations on 0.5 miles of stream.
  3. Collected data to complete planning and design of a large-scale stream restoration project.
Technical Team member Doug Martin explains the fish work that we did. Th results of the fish work allow us to predict the quality of salmon spawning habitat across the whole study area.

Public Land Management Plan

A focus of the night was to show off the public watershed plan. We are pretty excited about it! Our goal of the HNFP Public report is to communicate to anyone the opportunities for improving deer habitat, berry production, stream restoration, and forest improvement.

There’s a lot of information to digest in this report. It tells the shortened story of the HNFP, our workforce, and our goals. A key eye is the “Triple Bottom Line”. Through the work with the HNFP we want to invest in people, planet, and profit. As you read through this report we would like you to think to yourself : What are my priorities in forest management? How can this work benefit Hoonah? How Can I get involved?

You can page through the watershed management plan by following the link above. A copy can be downloaded from here

Online Mapping Tools

It has always been the goal of the HNFP to make the data from the project accessible. For instance, do you want to know where muskegs are for deer hunting? Or where potential berry patches are? Do you want to know where there is high quality salmon habitat? Or do you want to know where old-growth forests connect to mountain tops for easy walking? Using online mapping can help guide your gathering and adventures.

Ian Johnson reviews the online mapping tool at the meeting.

You can get to mapping and tools at : https://www.hia-env.org/hoonah-native-forest-partnership/hnfp-mapping/ .

Public comments

There were a few comments and questions from the audience. We did our best to answer the questions there, and have added onto them in this article.

  1. What opportunities with the HNFP data to improve tourism pressure?
    1. The data we’ve generated could create opportunities for trail creation and development. It might be used to identify where new bear viewing opportunities.
    2. Right now tourism is expected to grow by substantial amounts in Hoonah. These data could be used to relieve some of the stresses created by the growing industry.
  2. Are blueberry patches getting smaller and less common?
    1. Bob Christensen has been leading the non-forest vegetation research for the HNFP and has spent a lot of time looking at and thinking about blueberries. He has noticed that blueberries are declining. This isn’t unexpected – our young growth is growing up and shading out blueberries.
    2. Wanda Culp also thought blueberries were declining.

Technical Team Summary

Stream Restoration Visit

The Technical Team visited the stream restoration site to review the objectives of it and to look at the progress. The fall rains had shifted the restoration sites a lot – an expectected outcome. Two of the structures had scooped up more material and were beginning to shape the river. You can see those changes at this video on Facebook (no account necessary).

Report Editing

The rest of the time for the technical team was spent editing the technical report of the partnership. We had received comments from a professional copy edit and the technical team helped us get through some of those. We appreciate the time the Technical Team has put it on this report! It wouldn’t be possible without them.

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