Kake Community Forest
The village of Kake is surrounded by thousands of acres of clearcuts on the Northwest tip of Kupreanof Island. The village is in the midst of tough economic times, with high unemployment and an even higher cost of living.
So when the Forest Service proposed another large, traditional, industrial-scaled timber sale south of the village, residents and SEACC saw amending the project as an opportunity to allow Kake to use its local bounty to sustain its local economy and traditional ways of life.
Community Alternative to Timber Sale
Working with SEACC and naturalist Bob Christensen, Kake residents developed a community alternative (2009) to the timber sale that would resize the sale to encourage local hire and local use of the timber and protect important fish and game habitat.
In January 2011, SEACC and Christensen completed a 50-page report outlining the opportunities for sustainable forest jobs and environmental protections in the Kake area. Read the report here!e alternative also proposes creative use of non-forest timber products and a series of forest restoration projects to get people working to revitalize salmon streams and winter deer habitat.
A New Kind of Timber Sale Emerges
The comments of Kake residents, SEACC, and others made a difference. When the Record of Decision for the Central Kupreanof Timber Sale was finally released in February 2011, the sale had been completely restructured, largely incorporating all of the major suggestions of SEACC and many Kake residents. The sale went from 70 million board feet to 26; 30 miles of new road construction was dropped to just 2; logging in roadless areas and important subsistence areas was dropped; restoration and recreation enhancement projects were added; and, importantly, the sale was packaged into smaller sales and projects, small enough that local residents could bid on them. The sale went from a continuation of the destructive sales for an export market of the past, to the first Stewardship Contract on the Tongass and a showcase for the potential of the Tongass National Forest's newly announced Transition Framework.
Making Local Contracting Work
An ongoing focus for SEACC has been, and will continue to be, helping the community of Kake take advatage of the job and other opportunities represented by this timber sale. In the fall of 2010, SEACC partnered with the Tongass National Forest, the Organized Village of Kake, the Nature Conservancy, and the Wilderness Society to put on a stewardship contracting workshop for local residents. In addition, SEACC hired a prominent local citizen to conduct outreach to potential local business folks and assist them in planning for these opportunities.
Videos from 2010 Contracting Workshop
Gary Williams, Organized Village of Kake
Bob Christensen, What is the Kake stewardship contract workshop?
Marcus Kaufman, East Fork Consulting