Teamwork makes streams work

Participants from the POW Hand Tool Restoration Workshop
Participants from seven different communities and six tribal entities attended the hand tool restoration workshop in May, on Klawock-Heeyna land, Prince of Wales Island.

 

Participants in a recent hand tool restoration workshop learned teamwork makes streams work –working together benefits both the partners and the ecosystem. There were 19 participants, representing seven different communities and six tribal entities at the May workshop on Klawock-Heeyna land, Prince of Wales Island.

“Since day one, six years ago, the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) has sought to develop a local workforce capable of training other local crews for new restoration efforts. This was our first opportunity to do that and we couldn’t be more grateful to those involved,” said Ian Johnson, Hoonah Indian Association Environmental Coordinator, Sustainable Southeast Partnership Community Catalyst. 

K.K. Prussian - FS & Havaleh Rohloff from the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe move a treetop to use for cover
K.K. Prussian, a hydrologist for the Tongass National Forest,  and Havaleh Rohloff from the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe move a treetop to use for cover

The group used trees thinned from young growth riparian areas to build eight restoration structures over a quarter mile of stream. The HNFP workforce, who have been using these methods for the past three years, shared their skills with workshop participants to increase capacity to neighboring communities. Besides sharing technical skills, many participants expressed a highlight of the workshop was working together.

"The biggest thing I learned the last few days is opportunity—that’s opportunity to do good work with the human resources we have around us," said Rob Cadmus, Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition. "With this training we are going to be able to put locals to work restoring and stewarding salmon habitat." 

The restoration techniques used during the workshop are designed to restore function and improve condition in salmon streams. The result of the work is increased fish habitat and improved stream resilience to both flood and drought conditions.

"The power of people working together on a common vision is amazing,” said Katherine Prussian, a hydrologist for the Tongass National Forest. “Working together you can move a 40-foot log out of the woods into the creek effectively.” 

Phillip Sharclane and Jess Endert KTN Indian Community & Sheila JacobsonPhillip Sharclane and Jess Endert, Hoonah Indian Association as part of the HNFP partnership, discuss stream conditions with Sheila Jacobson (right), Tongass National Forest Fish Program Manager.

Future restoration efforts using hand tool methods are planned in Klawock, Maybeso, Margaret, Appleton and Ophir Watersheds. These methods are a light touch on the landscape, provide meaningful workforce development, and promote collaborative stewardship by restoring streams that feed families.

“Hopefully we will work together in the future and learn from each other and pass it on to our younger generation,” said Matthew Macasaet of Klawock Cooperative Association.The workshop was hosted by Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and funded by the National Forest Foundation. Partners and participants included Hoonah Native Forest Partnership, Klawock Cooperative Association, USDA Forest Service, Hoonah Indian Association, Ketchikan Indian Community, Prince of Wales Tribal Conservation District, and Yakutat Tlingit Tribe.

Robin Welling, a hydrologist for the Tongass National Forest, and representatives move a log
Robin Welling, a hydrologist for the Tongass National Forest, and representatives from seven different communities use teamwork to move a log into place during a hand tool restoration workshop in May, on Klawock-Heeyna land, Prince of Wales Island

 





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