The Haa Aaní, LLC (HAL) board convened its quarterly meeting in September in Ketchikan and later traveled to Prince of Wales Island for a closer look at operations there. The board reviewed active timber harvest operations, second-growth forests, and silviculture programs (designed to improve forest health). They also drove through miles of lands within Sealaska’s carbon-offset program, gaining a better understanding of the potential uses and management needs of those lands.
The group first stopped at one of Sealaska’s four active timber operations, McKenzie Inlet, on Prince of Wales Island touring the camp and meeting with the camp employees. Though production of second growth was shut down slightly earlier than expected due in part to the ongoing 20 percent tariff on spruce logs, Sealaska still expects a strong financial operating year at Sealaska Timber Company in 2019.
We’ve faced some challenges in 2019, but we’ve adjusted,” said President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “And our carbon project will be a significant contributor to our land management income again in 2019.”
(View the McKenzie Inlet operations tour that Sealaska board and management took in September 2019 here.)
The group drove through miles of those carbon project lands, discussing the program that will generate millions of dollars of income for Sealaska, while also considering new land uses that could benefit shareholders and local economies. Contrary to some beliefs, carbon project lands are still accessible and Sealaska retains the ability to utilize them for many development opportunities. Additionally, these lands will still be accessible to shareholders for subsistence and other cultural activities.
Silviculture, the thinning of second-growth forests, helps trees grow faster and often improves habitat for wildlife, berries and other important traditional resources. The board committee viewed acreage pre-commercial thinning had been conducted and addressed the subject of the future of second growth at a community meeting held in Klawock.
“The Sealaska board of directors has made it a priority to be engaged more at the community level, especially in our communities where we operate and have lands within our management,” said HAL Chair Richard Rinehart. “As part of that effort, Sealaska looks to communities and the leadership of their Native organizations to be partners in stewarding our lands.”
Many communities in Southeast Alaska face economic challenges and Sealaska is looking at other opportunities for financial, community and cultural benefit through its land management efforts.
“Everyone on our team knows their job is to create the greatest ﬁnancial, cultural and community beneﬁt from Sealaska lands,” said Mallott.
ABOUT HAA AANI, LLC
Haa Aaní, LLC is a holding company for Sealaska subsidiaries and departments involved in natural resource activities including Sealaska Timber Company, Alaska Coastal Aggregates, the natural resources department and Sealaska carbon program.