“Managing the forest needs to be in the hands of the people who live here, training is an effort to increase local capacity in the skills that are required to manage our lands”
----- SSP Director Alana Peterson
Efforts to move southeast Alaska timber industry to a young growth program is taking shape at the local level. Sealaska is committed to workforce development opportunities. One recent example, are efforts by Haa Aaní Economic Development and the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP), that worked with USFS and the State of Alaska for a two-week forestry academy. Eight participants spent two weeks developing forestry skills such as timber inventory, logging operability, protection of fisher and karst resources, deer habitat enhancement and more. Participants immediately put skills to work for a seasonal crew that conducted inventory for future timber, fish and wildlife management on Price of Wales Island.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack directed the U.S Forest Service to transition to young growth program. As a result the Tongass Advisory Committee (TAC) was formed to make recommendations. Sealaska General Counsel Jaeleen Araujo worked with TAC representatives to assure that our traditional and land management concerns were heard and addressed.
Workforce development opportunities, like the forestry academy, helps increase the opportunities for Sealaska shareholders and southeast residents find jobs within the naturla resource industry.
Check out this story published in the Capital City Weekly, documenting all the great work.