HSC : May 2023 USFS Meets to ask for community-driven forest projects

In attendance : Neal Schoenfelder, Ian Johnson, Roger Rolls, Darlene See, Jackie Dick, Nathan Moulton, James Jack, Joe Camoli, Jeromy Grant, Angie Mendenbayer, Olivia Perdoza, Fred Parady, Elizbeth Figus, Niccole Williams

At our May 2023 meeting Neal Schoenfelder with the Hoonah Ranger District explained a new Forest Service Strategy for community-driven projects. It’s called Southeast Alaska Sustainability Strategy Forest Management (SASSFM) and as Neal explained “instead of the national office guiding what is going to happen around a community they are asking for communities to tell them what they are looking for”.

So, the question for you, Hoonah Resident is : What are the most important things the forest around Hoonah can produce for you? What ideas do you have to do that? Where would you like the work to happen?

How to submit your ideas:

The USFS has created a tool for the community to learn about SASSFM and to submit projects. That tool is here : https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/19aa70f1812e48078b18505212bf8d7c

Want to discuss ideas? You can contact Neal Schoenfelder (neal.schoenfelder@usda.gov), Michael Downs (michael.downs@usda.gov), or Ian Johnson (ian.johnson@hiatribe.org)

Community Questions

There were many questions from the attending members. Here are a summary of them

  • Question The Forest Plan and Forest Plan Amendment will be different documents. The Forest Plan Amendment is a legal document. This is a list of projects that we can implement.
  • Question – Are there meetings happening elsewhere? Yes, in each community with a district office in SE.
  • Question – What is the followup? This has been presented to the Tribe and Hoonah. There are no other scheduled meetings in Hoonah about SASSFM, but you can reach out to Neal Schoenfelder, Mike Downs, or Ian Johnson
  • Question – When is next Forest Plan Amendment? It will take 2-3 years before this will happen.
  • Question – How does this tie together with Tongass Young Growth Management?
  • Question – Is there a matrix to look at how projects will be vetted? Yes, go to this website here https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1099238.pdf
  • Question – Can we put in areas where we wouldn’t want? Yes – can input areas where you wouldn’t want to see an activity happen.
  • Question – How are cedar trees in Hoonah? Seems to be OK. We have more snow in the spring. Decline here isn’t as bad as further south.
  • Question – How does we use alder and market it? Potentially mushroom farming, smokehouse chips, or biomass

Community Ideas for SASSFM

The following ideas were discussed as potential SASSFM ideas

  • Blueberry patch, and thinning. Using data to advise where those.
  • Wild strawberry patch improvement at Freshwater
  • Red huckleberry  at Wukuklook
  • Trying to find other places to harvest spruce root
  • Hiking Trails as a general theme
  • Interpretative signs and signage
  • Tongass Trail Strategy
  • Road grading and maintenance
  • Establishing vantage points
  • Spruce trees for traditional jig sets
  • Boat launch at whitestone harbor
  • Adding in clearings for turn arounds. Camping locations along the Spasski trail.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.