HSC : March 2022 Landslide Network Meeting

Attendance : Ian, Annette (Sitka Sound), Erica, Glenda, Bob, Jeromy, Faith, Niccole, Lisa (Sitka Sound), Sean, Ben, Stephanie

The Hoonah Stewardship Council met with Sitka Sound Science Center in March to talk about the possibility of establishing a landslide monitoring project in Hoonah. Question of the night was : Does this seem like a good fit for Hoonah?

Background :

Annette Patton (patton.annette@gmail.com) and Lisa Busch (lbusch@sitkascience.org) are both from Sitka Sound Science Center. They have been working in Sitka for the last 5 years to develop a landslide monitoring network. It is the first community-developed landslide warning system. The hope is help Sitka residents identify when landslide risk is high. They recently received money to spread this work to other communities and Hoonah is one of the ones they are thinking of!

What would the Work Do:

The work focuses on three main areas

  1. Geoscience – measuring how much rain, how much moisture in soil, forecasting and historic landslides, slope. This part of the work would install loggers and help us collect data on things that may be
  2. Social science – how are we  connected as a community? How do you share information? How would we get the information out to people? Oral history with elders – history of landslides and land movement in the region
  3. Risk Decision making – met with community members to decide on how risk-averse the community wants to the system to be. For instance, do you want failed or false alarms? How much risk are  you willing to live with?

The system will have an an online dashboard which we got to take a sneak peak at. This is still in development.

Along with the work the Sitka Sound Science center would establish a local community contact for the project. That person would help with maintaining equipment and keeping the community informed. That person could help connect a scientists in the classroom program to Hoonah City Schools.

Participant Questions/Comments:

What does the equipment look like?

Most of the stations are small. Some have a “soil pit” – a small hole in the ground to meaure soil moisture

Is there an engineer/landscape planning component to this?

The project would happen in a couple pieces – landscape mapping and assessment. If communities have concerns about the risk of landslides to their homes they could try to mitigate that

There has been a history of slides in town. The one that came down by Bob/Glenda house from Eagle Drive. There were two slides in town following the 2020 atmospheric river event.

Can we map out the risk within GIS?

That can be a bit more difficult to do, but is a possibility.

How can we incorporate glacial melt and incorporating climate:

  • No answer to this question right away – lots to think about there!

How do we can we model flood risk too? Also, can this be applied to the road system?

It will be up to the community where the most important places to monitor. Flood risk isn’t well understood in Hoonah and if that’s something the community wants to know more about its possible to look into it.

We have a lot of ongoing projects and things to tie into this project. We have Snotel station coming online, need to understand landslide risk to salmon streams, and have a lot of GIS data.

What’s the next steps?

Meet with City, Design bear proof sensor stations, design outreach materials. This project

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