Signing Ceremony Concludes Two-Year Collaboration on Prince of Wales
Tongass Forest Supervisor M. Earl Stewart signs the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Record of Decision.
KLAWOCK,AK—The USDA Forest Service signed a decision that aims to improve forest health while supporting the resilience and economies of local communities.
The decision will implement a 15-year, integrated resources management plan for federal lands on Prince of Wales Island (POW). It is the result of a public process that included significant input from an independently formed, broadly based group, as well as local tribes, youth and the general public.
The POW LLA is a comprehensive, long-term plan to bring sustainability and alignment with stakeholder direction to all of the programs the Forest Service administers on National Forest System lands within the Craig and Thorne Bay Ranger Districts. While there is timber offered to support the resilience and economies of local communities, there is also a host of actions within the Record of Decision spanning many programs and stakeholder interests, including but not limited to: up to 200 miles of instream restoration, up to three recreation cabins, 12 new 3-sided shelters, 4,500 acres per year of pre-commercial and wildlife thinning treatments, and trail construction and maintenance.
“The POW Landscape Assessment Team [LAT], made up of residents from Prince of Wales Island, identified a series of goals, ideas, and projects in an open, public, and structured process over the course of a year or more,” says Jon Bollig, POW LAT chairperson. “Those goals, ideas, and projects are seen by the POW LAT as important to the residents, communities, and the natural function of the forest in the POW Island area. I am gratified that most of the activities that POW LAT identified are included in the landscape assessment document, and look forward to the implementation of timber harvest, restoration, and recreation activities over the next 10 to 15 years.”
The purpose of the project is to improve forest ecosystem health in the project area, help support community resiliency, and provide economic development through an integrated approach to meet multiple resource objectives.
“It is important that we honor the effort of the members of the Prince of Wales Landscape Assessment Team,” said Tongass Forest Supervisor M. Earl Stewart. “Their hard work, meeting monthly over the course of a year to achieve consensus on the collection of actions, helped ensure the Forest Service’s management actions on Prince of Wales will align with the agreed direction of this district’s diverse stakeholders.”
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When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.