HNFP : 2021 Review and Looking Ahead

The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership just wrapped up its 7th field season! These annual posts have become a standard of the HNFP and are a great chance to review where we have come and where we are going. This post summarizes at 30,000 feet some of the work this year. You can review 2018 and 2019 easily! Ahhhh, memory lane.

This year would not have been possible without our MANY partners who add value to the work. Our work is also not possible without our local crew members who work hard and dedicate their time and passion into the projects.

Stream Restoration

The 2021 stream restoration in Spasski is complete! This project is seven miles up the west Spasski road was our largest and most ambitious to date. It brought together members from the U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Services, Fish and Wildlife Service, Huna Totem Corporation, and Hoonah Indian Association. Machine work was completed by Coutlee and Sons of Hoonah and the hand-tool restoration was completed by the the local HNFP crew, Hoonah Alaska Youth Stewards crew, and Sealaska intern program. The work was funded through the NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The gallery below shows off some images from across the restoration effort and the video highlights why we are doing this work from several perspectives.

Teaching others on Prince of Wales

One of the unique opportunities this year was to participate in a hand-tool restoration workshop on Prince of Wales Island coordinated by Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition. Phillip Sharclane and Ian Johnson helped lead the workshops which included members from regional tribes, the U.S. Forest Services, and conservation organizations on POW. This opportunity brought us forward in our vision that the HNFP crew can help train future crews in restoration activities.

Blueberry Enhancement

For several years we have been working on the concept of “blueberry enhancement”. Through pruning and of shrubs and trees we have worked to make blueberry patches more productive. This year we worked close to town in the green dots below to make readily-accessible blueberries. For those that live in Hoonah, these spots are flagged in blue-and-white flagging and located on the back-road up to the dump. You can better see the locations by getting the Gather Southeast App on Apple or Android

Wildlife Habitat Improvement

When a young-growth stand grows back it usually grows too thick for light to hit the ground. In these cases, thinning the stand can make more food for deer.

Hoonah Indian Association developed a cooperative agreement with the USFS to complete wildlife thinning work near Wukuklook. This work is occurring outside of the HNFP study area, but is a great example of using our local workforce for management activities.

You can see in the images on the right that the slash is down to the ground. That helps it break down faster so it is less of a barrier for wildlife

Monitoring and Gather Southeast Application

Stream Restoration Monitoring

We are always seeking to understand the effect of our work. On our stream restoration projects we conducted monitoring to help us determine if our goals are being met. We’ll be reviewing that data this winter and can keep you posted!

Community App for Land Management

The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership has an a phone app! This app is meant to help community members find opportunities for harvest and to share their observations out the road it can be used to :

  1. Report issues found
  2. Record harvest
  3. Take pictures and create records.

The best thing you can do is download the free app and try it out! It is a unique resource to have!

Up and Coming!

TWG Fisheries Work

Hoonah Indian Association was awarded a grant to complete fisheries surveys across the HNFP study area next year. The goal of the surveys is to better document the distribution of salmon and trout in our streams and rivers. We will use the results to update a database called the “Anadromous Waters Catalog” and to calibrate an end of fish model created using the LiDAR in the HNFP area.

Five More Years of Funding

The HNFP had its funding through the NRCS renewed! That means we have 5 more years of core funding on top of the multitude of grants and other funding pools that make this work tick. Thank you to the NRCS for continuing to be the financial backbone of this partnership!

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