Background: In 2016 Haida Corporation, Hydaburg Cooperative Association, the US Forest Service, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Sealaska, and several other organizations participated in the “Joint Chiefs” initiative that was designed to coordinate watershed improvement projects in the Hydaburg area.
Progress: One of these projects was a grant by NRCS to Haida Corporation for precommercial thinning of harvested areas in the Sulzer Portage area. The first phase of the project was for 291 acres, the grant amount was $97,811, and the work was completed in 2017. Sealaska Corporation managed the thinning contract, and Johnson Brothers of Klawock did the actual work. Additional acres and grant funding for work in 2018 are in the application process; the goal is to precommercially thin all the areas that have been harvested. Precommercial thinning is a process of removing smaller and less productive trees thus allowing the remaining trees to grow faster, which in turn improves the watershed. The optimum age for precommercial thinning is between 15 to 20 years old.
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Culture Camp Images courtesy Bethany Goodrich / Sustainable Southeast Partnership