Community Survey Results on Trails and Community Projects

Gunalchéesh to the 41 respondents to our survey! Here’s the results of what people had to say. There are two main ways we’ll be using these results. First, at March’s Huna Stewardship Council meeting we will decide which community projects will receive funding with the $30,000 we have in partnership with Elizabeth Figus. Second, we’ll use the trails data to look at project opportunities and bring those back to the community for one last review/prioritization. We hope to start some of these construction projects in 2024 and accelerate in 2025. Stay tuned!

Results Community Projects

 In 2023, we asked questions on social media and at Hoonah Stewardship Council meetings (https://www.hia-env.org/environmental-legacy/currently-working-on/) about environmental projects that would be valuable for Hoonah. For each response we heard that would fit the funding, we wrote down why this project is needed and what the outcome would be. The results below show the priorities from the survey responses. Top 3 projects in order were :

  1. “Mudslide/Landslide Monitoring”
    • Need : Hoonah is unmapped and in a potential landslide area
    • Outcome : Increased safety for homeowners, an emergency plan, a map of landslide risk, a safety alert network
  2. “Wild Berries”
    • Need : increase the food that people pick and eat, support cultural harvesting, increase opportunities for elders, berries are declining as young growth disappears
    • Outcome : We have a place to raise wild berries, like a garden and better options in town to pick berries
  3. “City Water Assessment for Advance Notice to Support City Decision-Making”
    • Need : Gartina watershed could dry in future years and the city doesn’t know when to limit water supply or when power may be decreased
    • Outcome : analysis of watershed water holding ability/capacity

Results Legacy Roads to Trails – Recreation Questions in Hoonah

The next of questions were about a project that would convert old roads to trails. This could occur on U.S. Forest Service, Huna totem, or Sealaska lands. The answers will help us determine where these trails would be and how they would best serve Hoonah.  We will take all responses and look at what options we have to convert old roads into trails. We hope to be constructing these new trails in 2025 and 2026 to provide new recreation opportunities in Hoonah! 

What resources (food, cultural resources, recreation opportunities, alpine areas) would you like to be able to access from a new trail? (list up to 5 resources)

  • deer, steelhead, good views
  • alpine areas, berries, deer
  • Berries
  • Veiwing and resting a long with a way of life to harvest resources
  • Recreation
  • What ever grows close by or around the area
  • Food, recreation/camping/hiking opportunities
  • Berries fish and deer
  • Swimming , Beaches , Shellfish , Deer , Berries
  • I’d love trails that make harvesting wild foods more accessible for all ages, including berries, spruce tips, salmon in the rivers etc.
  • Water
  • Trails that help the environment, heavily thinned places where game cannot travel anymore would be a good place to have a trail.
  • Fire weed, blue berry, fish access, spruce tips, Hudson Bay tea
  • It would be cool to get weaving materials such as bark or roots
  • Hiking with dogs, possibly hunting or fishing, 4 wheeling
  • Berries
  • Food, recreation opportunities, alpine areas, beaches
  • recreational opportunities
  • Deer, beach foods, alpine
  • Food and cultural resources
  • Berries/food/foraging
  • Alpine access, berry picking, foraging opportunities, stroller friendly trails
  • Berries, Beach Asparagus, Fish, Medicinal Plants, Shellfish
  • Deer, Salmon, Salmon Berry, Blueberry, Huckleberry
  • This would be an economic way to develop a trail…
  • Food, Berries
  • Backpacking/Camping, Alpine Access, Easy access to areas where kids can play, old growth
  • Berry Picking
  • Alpine areas, access to alpine deer habitat, alpine recreation opportunities
  • Cultural resources – cairns on mountain tops such that families and school groups could visit. ,Access to places above treeline to explore alpine habitats, flowers, etc. ,Access to beach sites to disperse beach use. Driveable beach sites have become crowded, rowdy, party places.
  • Food, alpine, recreation, sight seeting, clans
  • All of the above
  • Bathroom
  • Berries, deer, devils club, fishing spots
  • Medicinal Plants, Beach Asparagus, Cultural Connections to the land, Recreation, Exploring and Sightseeing
  • Clams and Cockles, Berriers, Picnic handicap accessible, throw in line fishting, handicapped access everything
  • Any of the mountains on the island

Please list up to five areas where you would like a trail access those resources. These can be general areas such as “Spasski”, “freshwater”, “Westport”, etc

  • game cr
  • No preference
  • Game creek. Spasski
  • Spasski, Game Creek, West Port, Fasle Bay, Freshwater Bay
  • Spassky, Freshwater
  • Spasski, Game Creek, False Bay, Freshwater Bay, Westport
  • Road down to Pavlof Harbor, Road to alpine areas on Ear Mountain. Subalpine lake on Vortex. Re-open 8519 Kennel Creek Road and build trails alpine . Build trail from end of road (8510)to Tenekee Inlet Shoreline
  • Spasski, Game Creek, Westport, Spirit Camp
  • Whitestone harbor more ways for access, water and road
  • Spasski
  • Spasskyi, Long Island, on the road toward freshwater
  • Near/in town so you can access it ALL YEAR LONG.
  • Spasski, freshwater, Whitestone harbor
  • freshwater
  • Close to town, Westport, south of game creek, near suntaheen viewing area to saltwater
  • Spasski, East Point, Whitestone, Seagull Creek drainage
  • Spasski, false bay, freshwater
  • Spasski, Whitestone, Fresh Water
  • Any that would provide motor vehicle access and won’t take boat to get to
  • Recreation : enjoying the beauty of the environmental and walking workouts
  • Gobs Knob, Spasski just past bridge on right
  • Whereever berry areas are
  • Vortex, South side of Ear Mountain, 8533 Repearter Mountain, Mountain Range at the start of seagull creek in upper game creek
  • Road to Spasski, Elephant Mountain, Ear Mountain, Vortex, Maybe Trails near Freshwater Bay Cabin?
  • Spasski, Freshwater Bay, Gartina Creek, Humpy Creek, Neka Bay
  • Spasski , Freshwater, Westport
  • Freshwater Bay, False Bay, Neka Bay, Game Creek, 8 fathom bite
  • Spasski, Long Island, Cannery, Freshwater, Site road
  • ear, elephant, seal, sleeping lady

Do you have any concerns about developing trails in Hoonah?

  • No
  • exploitation by isp
  • over-use, especially by guided groups. Increased bear interactions
  • Safety
  • Port a potties would be nice
  • Not for tourists
  • Protect wildlife. Reason I chose trail head short is to give wild life space in their home. Keep trails clean.
  • Wildlife and Habitat Conservation
  • Disturbing the natural habitats of local wildlife would be a concern for me. As well as the safety of hikers, will they be monitored atleast daily? Bear activity is my main concern for the safety of hikers.
  • Trash and there should be shootings range so they shoot the signs
  • I think it would be an awesome addition!
  • We need trails in or near town NOT out the road.
  • Nope
  • The tourist
  • Need more
  • If tails are put in, which is excellent, the trash accumulations will grow. Guidelines and trash collection procedures will need to be addressed.
  • Bears/bear attack
  • Bear safety
  • Must not be near sacred sites!
  • Bear Safety
  • Bear safety, use of ATVs that damage the habitat and flora and fauna
  • Abuse by tourist groups
  • Bears
  • I would be concerned if we are not able to maintain hiking only trails. There are so many existing travel options for ATV’s and bikes on existing roads or even roads that are trail-like. Our family does hike the road system and we do cross country treks, but as our mobility declines with age, we would appreciate maintained trails that are not open to vehicles. I would also be concerned if these trails were open to commercial guiding. At present, there are few places to escape the hoards during summer months.
  • No Trails to PItt Island
  • None
  • Making existing road access closed to cars. Keep roads open. Trails off them.
  • No we need them. I don’t want to be charged to go on them but tourist should get charged.
  • Yes, who else will have access? Planning to expand tourist infiltration? Hoonah’s families – tlingit original founders, need protected unencumbered filtrated access to gather resources (non-commercial use) for custromary and traditional use
  • Safety for users

Please any other thoughts or questions:

  • I love hiking out the road, but more trails near town would more easily improve quality of life for Hoonah residents.
  • Improve the Roads
  • Thanks
  • Other communities, Haines, juneau, Skagway, Sitka, all have extensive trail systems and Hoonah is lacking improved and maintained hiking and walking trails. Even very rough paths that are brushed, fallen logs chopped out, and vegetation trimmed occasionally would vastly increase usability and access to land
  • Reason I answered know on helping age is a factor for some of us. Safe trails worried about cubs and mother bear. Have resting spots for trail walkers.
  • Nope!
  • I love the idea of new trails in Hoonah! Promoting healthy lifestyles and giving more options for dog walking.
  • How many trails? How long will the process take and keep it local as possible for hires
  • I think this is a great ideas and opens a new plan for the people.
  • Hiking trails sound so awesome
  • I am sure you’re already collaborating with all the Hoonah area landowners on this project.
  • Trail close to town is best, but willing to drive
  • The berry garden is my #1 choice. I really miss salmon berries and raspberries
  • The road that used to go out to Spasski beach was one of our absolute favorites. It traversed a series of habitats (including some awesome mushroom spots) and led to an amazing, largely remote beach. Favorite place for our family for picnics and beach walks. Honestly, I believe that all of these would be useful, except perhaps for the Class 5 which I think is already available (i.e., those interested in this kind of experience make their own routes. It feels as if we could use existing, non-maintained roads to create loops by adding additional trail mileage?
  • [I like road] at Spasski bay and river, Picnic grounds
  • We would like to be able to access even when tourists are here, Yes, tha twould be Spasski Trail 12 spur out by Spasski
  • Closed roads question – None. Logging roads designed for logging is now accisble to corporate mining on Hoonah land. Customary and Traditional use access needs – from water to land, rivers, streams, that yield fish and food plants The people of Hoonah need access to these places without all the outside industrial encroachment taking over, protect indigenous use and continued existence as a priority )not a footnote)
  • We need roads, my son is handicapped

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