Groups celebrate stream restoration

Government and nonprofit groups gathered on Prince of Wales Island recently to celebrate a pair of restoration projects.

The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Forest Service worked together on the Harris River and Fubar Creek. Both were damaged by logging in past decades.

Randy Hagenstein of The Nature Conservancy says loggers removed fallen trees from waterways, which changed habitat and flow.

“By going into these streams and engineering logs and logjams, we accomplish a number of goals to change it back to what would have been a more natural condition. And that improves the habitat for salmon and steelhead and other resident fish,” he says.

The work also included new trails and recreation areas. Fubar Creek was also given a Haida name, Gandláay Háanaa, which translates as Beautiful Stream or River. Roads were also improved, culverts were unblocked and second-growth forest areas were thinned.

Forest Service officials stressed the importance of the collaborative nature of the projects.

Hagenstein says his group helped raise funds, handle contracts and gain needed permits.

“The fourth role is to do some of the follow-up monitoring to make sure that the results that we hope to get from the project are realized,” he says.

The celebration was held August 25th in Craig.

The restoration work has its critics.

“The Harris River Restoration Project is a good example of taxpayer dollars being wasted on a phony stream restoration project,” writes timber advocate George Woodbury in a commentary published by the Juneau Empire. “The truth — the sedimentation in the river is natural.”

“Large amounts of sediment have been washing out of the surrounding hillsides since the last ice-age,” he writes.

Recent headlines

  • Arctic Chinook exercise concludes

    Coast Guard wraps up Arctic exercises

    The series of simulated drills was known as the Arctic Chinook exercise and wrapped Thursday morning in Kotzebue, according to a Coast Guard press release.
  • Bacteria that causes botulism.

    Science and cooking collide to fight botulism

    Scientists are trying to learn how to prevent botulism in seal oil, a main ingredient in many traditional Alaska Native foods.
  • Earthquake Simulator

    Earthquake simulator will shake up Juneau

    Alaska's earthquake simulator will visit Wednesday, Aug. 31, to Thursday, Sept. 1, in downtown Juneau giving residents some emergency preparedness practice at an event that promises to shake, rattle and roll.
  • Dan DeBartolo is one of four candidates running for the Juneau School Board. (Courtesy of Dan DeBartolo)

    School board candidate juggles race and Facebook

    The creator of the Facebook page the Juneau Community Collective is running for public office and that created a problem. He had to figure out how to continue moderating political comments on the page without falling into a conflict of interest.


Playing Now: