Haa Aani Protecting Lands


Brian Kleinhenz leads the care, utilization and policy implementation for Sealaska land as part of Haa Aaní. His team, along with leadership and staff from Sealaska’s timber, aggregates and regional economic development teams work in coordination to achieve the economic, social and environmental goals of the Sealaska board and management.

Many of the changes from the new operational structure are largely behind the scenes, however, all stakeholders will notice improvements, according to Kleinhenz.

“Shareholders and community members will experience a single voice from Sealaska. They will also play an important role in planning processes and benefit from higher velocity communications and more values-focused action that will make even greater positive impacts. We will continue to build relationships and trust in order to identify areas of opportunity for collaboration and partnerships in energy, minerals, natural foods, young-forest management and other land based areas.”

“Sealaska invests in comprehensive and long-term scientific research that has benefited the entire region for more than 30 years,” says Kleinhenz. “We care for our Native lands for future generations—this is only achieved through scientific research to ensure our methods are sustainable and maintain the quality and health of forests and watersheds.”

Stewardship Practices Enhance Our Lands

Silviculture is key to Sealaska’s sustainable timber harvest program. Sealaska takes care of our forests so that forests can continue to take care of people. When we do this our forests produce: better quality lumber, shorter time between harvests, increased volume of sustainable harvest, and greater abundance of fish and wildlife habitat. Pre-commercial thinning is the process of removing certain trees so that the healthiest ones can thrive. Careful thinning improves the growth, quality and health of remaining trees. Basal pruning removes the lower branches of the tree, up to 17 feet. Removing the lower branches lets more sunlight reach the forest floor helping to maintain understory plants. Sealaska works with a network of Southeast Alaskan-owned small businesses to perform all its thinning, planting and pruning work. These businesses are all owned by Sealaska shareholders or descendants.

Sealaska performed a great deal of forest stewardship work in 2015:

  • 3,534 acres of pre-commercial thinning (PCT)
  • 459 acres of pruning
  • 537 acres of planting (48,000 spruce and 7,000 yellow cedar)

Sealaska is proud to have some of our sister corporations as clients. We performed the following work on behalf of village and urban corporations in 2015:

  • Goldbelt, Incorporated: 396 acres of PCT
  • Kake Tribal Corporation: 891 acres of PCT
  • Huna Totem Corporation: 86 acres of PCT
  • Klawock Heenya Corporation: 530 acres of PCT


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