Pres. Obama Brings Attention To Regional Efforts

“President Obama identified two Southeast Alaska partnerships that Sealaska is involved with,” said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “Sealaska is committed to working with regional leaders to ensure communities are healthy."

US President Barack Obama is visiting Alaska this week, bringing with him a focus on climate change.  In part Alaska and residents are considered at the frontlines of the issue. The White House issued a “Fact Sheet” today that announced new investments to combat climate change and assist remote communities.

The “Fact Sheet” also provided an overview of non-federal actions taking place around the state. “Today President Obama identified two Southeast Alaska partnerships that Sealaska is involved with,” said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “Sealaska is committed to working with regional leaders to ensure communities are healthy. Both the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) and the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership align with Sealaska’s vision of strengthening people, culture and homelands. By working in partnerships we utilize collective resources that can attain greater benefit for our region than any of us can accomplish on our own.”

“We are thrilled to have the President recognize the efforts of SSP while he is in Alaska,” said SSP Program Director Alana Peterson. “Our partners are enhancing Hydaburg’s fishing economy, growing entrepreneurs, tourism efforts in remote communities like Kasaan and so much more. Our key partners are the catalysts to a thriving region.”

FROM THE FACT SHEET

Partnering at the forefront of community resilience in Southeast Alaska. The Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP) is a new partnership that approaches community and economic development by supporting projects and businesses that improve the economy, social structures of the communities, and well-being of the environment. Southeast Alaska communities face issues around environmental changes, high unemployment rates, sustainable resource management, energy independence, and food security. The partners will use private funds in conjunction with public funding to support large-scale community forest and fisheries projects, new workforce development initiatives, a business development competition and a revolving loan fund--all rooted in environmental sustainability. SSP is comprised of Alaska Native tribes and corporations, regional economic development entities, conservation organizations, and local municipalities. Lead partners include Haa Aaní, LLC, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, Southeast Conference, Sealaska, and The Nature Conservancy.

About SSP

  • A diverse network of organizations and individuals that are working together to champion sustainable community development in Southeast Alaska (SSP is not a formal organization/entity).
  • Project focus is on four areas: Food Security, Economic Development, Energy, and Natural Resource Management
  • Community partners include: Yakutat, Kake, Kasaan, HydaburgHoonah and Sitka
  • Regional partners, Haa Aaní, LLC, The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Conference, Renewable Energy Alaska Project, Sitka Conservation Society, Alaska Conservation Foundation, and Grow Southeast

What SSP Does

  • SSP is about connecting people,
  • A few project examples (1) Hoonah Native Forest Partnership for Land Management in Southeast Alaska (2) Farm and Fish to Schools Conference (3) Path to Prosperity Competition (4) Mobile Greenhouse (5) Commercial energy audits and workshops (6)

Why is Sealaska Involved with SSP?

  • To be successful in the region, we must collaborate with entities that have similar goals
  • SSP provides Haa Aaní direct (meaningful) connection to people in the communities, this results in connecting entrepreneurs to the CDFI, and P2P programs, as well as connecting Haa Aaní and Sealaska to new projects and opportunities in the region.
  • Hoonah Partnership will improve and sustain salmon and wildlife habitat

How is Sealaska Involved with SSP?

  • Haa Aaní, LLC houses the Regional Catalyst for Economic Development as well as the Program Director for SSP through Alana Peterson
  • Haa Aaní, LLC and Sealaska are part of the SSP leadership team

About the Funding

  • Alaska Conservation Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have committed to funding the SSP program
  •  $2M in Loan Capital from the Haa Aaní Community Development Fund, Inc. is available to residents of Southeast Alaska and is included as a “private sector commitment” in the $5M

Building Resilient Communities in the Tongass National Forest. Sealaska Native Corporation, the State of Alaska, Sustainable Southeast Partnership, U.S. Forest Service, Haa Aaní’s Community Development Fund LLC, and several Village Corporations are focusing on shared goals of community resilience. Communities, businesses, Native interests and conservation NGOs are leaving behind past conflicts over old growth logging on the Tongass National Forest and are working together to develop workforce and entrepreneurial capacity while accomplishing sustainable forest management into the future. This partnership is known as the Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP).

About the HNFP Partnership

  • To be successful in the region or Hoonah we must collaborate with entities that have similar goals and values
  • HNFP grew organically after other smaller projects in the community such as the firewood program or the thinning project in Kettle Creek
  • Top goals of partnership (1) Regional-scale land management and conservation planning to improve habitat for salmon and Sitka black-tailed deer, long-term timber production, and enhance products such as blueberries and firewood. (2) Development of a local workforce of Forest/Land technician. (3) Gather important data on timber, fish and other resources and improve the ability to do multi-purpose planning through the application of state of the art science
  • NRCS Department of Agriculture funded the $2 million dollar grant
  • Great example of co-land management
  • Success of project will improve the ecological and economic sustainability of natural resources in Hoonah and provide a valuable partnership model for other communities

Land Management Guided by Science

  • Sealaska’s forestry, stream protection and wildlife field experts are some of the finest in Alaska
  • Sealaska invested in science and research covering the past 20 years. The goal was to ensure salmon habitat and water quality were healthy on Sealaska’s lands and to share data with stakeholders and was launched to the revised Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act to understand the effectiveness of the revised State law and impacts of timber harvest practices
  • 18 streams on Sealaska land that are anadromous part of 20 years of research
  • Sealaska partners with Oregon State University (Liz Cole ) and University of Washington (Dr. Doug Martin) on this on-going research
  • 20 years later the research demonstrates what we always known, the streams are intact and thriving

About the Funding

  • Hoonah Partnership is funding through the Natural Resource Conservation Service and part of the project will focus on workforce development– $2 million
  • USFS State and Private Forestry have a cost share agreement with the State of Alaska to work on workforce development in the Region – $1.5 million
  • Sealaska contributions to both efforts are “in-kind” only and do not carry a commitment of cash

 

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