Native Alaskans Saving Lands
Our Land, Our Legacy, Our Life
What it does
This 8,618 acre forest project located in the Southeast Alaska panhandle on the Prince of Wales Island will sequester 650,000 tonnes of emissions over the first 20 years of its 40-year life. Klawock Heenya consists of coastal rainforest of conifer, western hemlock-Sitka spruce and western redcedar-hemlock forests in Southeast Alaska.
For the Alaskan Natives who are the indirect owners of the project, it provides a source of income that replaces the need for aggressive logging and harvesting of trees.
More recently, Canadian demand for pulpwood from Southeast Alaska has driven the prices up for pulp logs and has increased the potential for aggressive forest management practices. Without the implementation of the project, the area could resemble an industrial forest.
Bottom Line: The native Alaskans have found a way to sustain the forests, its inhabitants and their community in a way that helps the forest
How it works
The forest was established by the Klawock Heenya Corporation (KHC) and is operated by indigenous Alaskan Natives. This Corporation, one of 13, was established in 1971 by the U.S. Government to administer settled lands and financial claims to Alaskan Natives. The corporation is driven by its desire to develop a sustainable economy that provides opportunities for community members and shareholders alike. It takes seriously its stewardship responsibility as evidenced by their statement, “our land, our legacy, our life.”
There is no ongoing or future commercial harvesting intended in this project area. In fact, forest management practices represent a significant improvement in the carbon storage and conservation value than the higher return, more aggressive management regimes of industrial private lands in the region, characterized by shorter, even-aged rotations.
The project ensures long-term sustainable management of the forests, maintenance of forest stocks above the regional baseline. It provides significant climate benefits and serves to improve the habitat for Sitka black-tailed deer, black bear, mountain goats, moose and other local wildlife species.
- Protects habitat for wildlife, plant species, and trees in the forested communities
- Supports one of the largest populations of black bears in the world.
- For Alaskan Native shareholders of KHC it provides an alternative source of income to cutting of forests for high-demand pulpwood
- Provides jobs including for monitoring the general health and condition of the forest, e.g., road maintenance, ecological studies, boundary marking that help reduce the risk of reversal by disease, pest invasion and unauthorized timber removal
- An intact forest helps preserve water quality and reduce risk of soil erosion and degradation
- Protects area as community resource for education, research, and recreation
- Fire is always a risk for forests, but the coastal rainforest style habitat reduces substantially the danger from fire events
- Loss of trees to pests are always a risk but attacks by pests have been limited
- Annual reporting may not be available and measurable SDGs in addition to sequestering carbon for Climate, are likely to be limited to perhaps Clean Water and Life on Land. These latter benefits are not likely to measurably change over time
Who it helps
Climate change related CO₂ that is sequestered in this large forest helps the planet. The project provides an alternative source of income to the Klawock Heenya people while helping local wildlife and native species by maintaining the fragile ecosystem where they live.
Why we chose this project
The environment of Alaska, already under so much stress from climate change needs its forests. With income from carbon, small Alaska Native Communities are able to preserve, protect and sustainably manage the forest for future of their families. Providing a stable and undisturbed habitat for wildlife already stressed by climate, ensures their continued survival and potential for growth and recovery.
UN sustainable development goals
DrawdownDrawdown is the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming; Native Alaskans Saving Lands relates to Solutions Number 38 & 39 – Forest protection and Indigenous Peoples’ Land Management
Due diligence documents
Support this project
How we select our projects
We go the extra mile, or kilometer, to make sure each project’s carbon-cutting is effective, and the use of funds is efficient.
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