Tribal Forestry and The Anchor Forest concept – Is it Appropriate for our National Forests?

This is from the Bellingham Herald

Some pertinent quotes include:

– “They call this concept Anchor Forest because this is tribal land — these people are not going anywhere. They’ll be here forever,”

– “Tribal goals of managing forests in perpetuity provide a foundation of sustainable management for the wider region”
– ““The tribes, we’re here. These are resources that we depend upon,” Rigdon said. “The type of fires that we are starting to see, those risks are real and can have a huge detrimental impact on the things the tribes value.”Large, intense wildfires are evidence of unhealthy forests, McGee said. The forests of this region were once adapted to frequent, low-intensity wildfires. But decades of fire suppression have allowed fuel to build up and small trees to grow in dense, flammable stands.These crowded conditions reduce the health of trees, giving insects, such as the spruce bud worm, the perfect opportunity to spread and damage, or kill, trees.”

– ““The goal is not to cut trees based on what sawmills need,” McGee said. “We need sawmills aligned with products that come off the projects that are doing good ecological restoration.”

The Yakamas own the only remaining sawmill in the region. It employs about 200 people, Rigdon said, and supports more jobs in the tribe’s forestry program.

A key part of the Anchor Forest plan, Rigdon said, is a study to determine how much wood should be coming off the region’s forests so the tribe and others can develop a market for those timber products and plan investments in new sawmill equipment or to build a pellet plant, for example.”

– “Karen Bicchieri, who manages the Tapash, says everyone involved wants the same thing — resilient forests.”

– ““In working together to improve the health of the ecosystem, we’ve got to be balanced and do it in a way that is beneficial from a social standpoint to build and sustain communities,” Blazer said. “When you bring (the tribes’) traditional knowledge with Western science, you can really develop strong forest management. There’s lots to learn from each other.””

To me this is what our National Forests should be all about.

5 Comments

  1. This would be a great idea…the only problem is these tribal lands don’ have to be managed according to the ESA, can not be litigated against by the vast number of environmental groups out to make a point, amongst all the other issues that federal land managers face on a daily basis.

      • Dave: Can you provide some links to the Indian forestry articles you and Jim Petersen did for Evergreen? Also, I think he was working on a more recent series and will check and see if these have been completed.

  2. I read about this the other day, and I hope to learn a lot more. I hope more people post insight on this subject.

    I don’t discount the necessity of tribal input because they aren’t subject to litigation. Washington tribes are as good environmentalists as anyone else – at times perhaps they are moreso – and have a high interest in preserving environment. It’d be great to learn about their processes. On the flip side, much of the input from other stakeholders may not be of much value to the tribes – but we have to start somewhere. Blazer says “there’s lots to learn from each other,” and he’s right.

  3. I read an article a few months ago in the Missoulian and got the impression that the S and K tribe on the Flathead has a small but very effective group of foresters with a clear vision, getting things done efficiently and bringing in revenue for the tribe. I was impressed, kudos for common sense which is often lacking when the fedgov is in the mix.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *