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, which translates as Beautiful Stream. 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.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.