The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) is unique in many ways because it trying to set a new standard for collaboration between private landowners, public land managers and community residents. Its science driven approach provides data to land managers and land users so they can interface and fuse the needs of subsistence users and timber production. A particularly important uniqueness of the HNFP is the ability of the community to provide feedback on how the results and land management implications of this collaborative work can benefit them. At the Clan Workshop held from April 13-16th in Hoonah, Brian Kleinhenz (Sealaska) and Ian Johnson (Hoonah Indian Association Environmental Director, Sustainable Southeast Partnership) and other partners started a dialogue with clan leaders to review the status of the project to date and “What success of the HNFP means to them, and to the community”. The conversation was engaging and yielded some very useful insight into how the HNFP can benefit the community.
The project has employed 6 residents of Hoonah to conduct surveys. In 2015 they conducted road surveys and stream surveys
In 2016 the crew of Hoonah residents will be tackling surveys to assess deer densities in timber treatments, volume of slash in pre-commercially thinned stands, road condition, culvert function, anadromous fish distribution, and fish habitat condition.
LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data have provided elevation data for the study area at an incredibly precise (1m) scale. These data are a powerful toolset for this project and for designing other projects where detailed data are required. The data also provide insight in the characteristics of timber stands and will be important for understanding tree characteristics within the stand. The data collection for the HNFP will be mostly completed by the end of this year, and we will begin writing the final land management plan based on our results and what we find are the needs of the community.
Community Needs and Feedback
There is strong interest to expand this research to freshwater lakes that may support a sockeye run, or that currently do. Sockeye are important cultural and subsistence resource for residents in Hoonah as well as Angoon. It would also be good for future projects to incorporate Point Adolphus for its historical and cultural importance.
Culturally significant areas are not included in the current land management plan, but an inventory of them would benefit the plan
The HNFP should integrate its work in with the schools. Bringing kids outdoors is a great learning tool for them, a powerful outreach tool for the HNFP, and can inspire kids to pursue work in the outdoors that will bring them back to Hoonah.
This project could enhance the commercial harvest of blueberry picking, but the harvest of any subsistence resource (e.g., blueberries, devils club, salmon) should be done honoring the traditional ways.
Ian Johnson is available to talk about this project and get community feedback at almost any time. You have several ways to contact him including: stopping by his office (#1 at the Community Center), calling him at 907-723-6044, or emailing at email@example.com.
Watch the community bulletin boards for upcoming meetings in regard to HNFP. Meetings will also be advertised on the Facebook Group Hoonah Buy, Sell, Trade
There will be a block of time each week to meet with Ian to discuss the project and have a (strong) cup of coffee. See his office door or call to find out the date and time.
There may be an opportunity to go out and see the work that the Hoonah crews do! If you would like to spend a little time out in the field, be sure to contact Ian.