The value of Sealaska lands is much more than the economic opportunities.
Sealaska takes environmental management of its precious lands seriously by applying best practices and funding research. Sealaska is committed to clean water and fish habitat now and forever into the future. We are committed to enhancing and maintaining wildlife habitat. We treasure the land for shareholders and all of Southeast Alaska.
Sealaska has reinvested $19 million from its timber harvest revenue to manage the next generation of trees. Since 2007, Sealaska has partnered with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to support land management on Sealaska’s harvested forest land.
Sealaska has partnered with forest scientists from Oregon State University on a multi-year study to learn how various thinning intensities benefit:
- Deer browse and understory plant vegetation
- Tree form and growth
Two peer review articles from the thinning studies have been published in professional scientific literature. Sealaska collaborated with the University of Washington and the USDA Forest Sciences Laboratory wildlife biologists and developed a new way to measure how many deer the forest can support. This “deer model” (called FRESH) is based on the deer nutrition requirements and the understory vegetation capacity to provide this nutrition. Timber harvest combined with land management such as precommercial thinning and basal pruning greatly increase understory deer browse.
Fish Habitat and Water Quality Conditions
Sealaska initiated an ongoing scientific monitoring and research program in 1992 to examine our effectiveness in protecting fish habitat and water quality.
Funding comes primarily from Sealaska with contributions from the Alaska Forest Association and from State and Federal Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Forest Service.
The forest and fish monitoring and research project was launched in response to the revised Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act (FRPA) in the early 1990s, to understand the effectiveness of the revised law and the impact of timber harvest practices. Twenty years later, the research demonstrates what we’ve always known: the streams are intact and thriving.