Tony Christianson, the mayor of Hydaburg (a native village on Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island), has worked with The Nature Conservancy to map salmon streams. In June he received an award from the Conservancy for his work monitoring and safeguarding salmon and their habitat. Photo © Chris Crisman
Tony Christianson, the mayor of Hydaburg (a native village on Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island), has worked with The Nature Conservancy to map salmon streams. In June he received an award from the Conservancy for his work monitoring and safeguarding salmon and their habitat. Photo © Chris Crisman

Outtakes: Beyond Old-growth Logging in Southeast Alaska

February/March 2016

On assignment to document southeast Alaska’s salmon industry and its connection to forest restoration, photographer Chris Crisman found himself clinging to a rocking fishing boat as the vessel was jolted by waves and pelted by pouring rain.

“There weren’t many pictures where I could use two hands on the camera,” says Crisman, who was trying to capture a portrait of a fisherman. (Read the story and see the photo Crisman ended up getting of Conservancy staffer and commercial fisherman Michael Kampnich.)

The challenging shoot offered a taste of life in an Alaskan community where old-growth logging used to dominate the economy. But that era is nearing an end in the Tongass National Forest as new, greener enterprises are emerging with the Conservancy’s help and former logging commu­nities are helping drive restoration efforts.

Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best outtakes from Crisman’s shoot. (See more photos and read the story from our February/March 2016 issue here).

Salmon fishing in southeast Alaska brings in roughly $1 billion a year. Forest restoration and sustainably managed logging can help protect fisheries by ensuring healthy streams and habitat for salmon. Photo © Chris Crisman
Hydaburg resident Sonny Peele works on a new pole for the community totem park. The village hosts an annual cultural festival that celebrates traditions such as totem carving. Photo © Chris Crisman
Tongass National Forest is the crown of the 100-million acre Emerald Edge, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. The Conservancy’s Emerald Edge program seeks to protect a vast swath of this coastal-rainforest system, which spans from northern Washington to southeast Alaska. Photo © Chris Crisman
Tongass National Forest is the crown of the 100-million acre Emerald Edge, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. The Conservancy’s Emerald Edge program seeks to protect a vast swath of this coastal-rainforest system, which spans from northern Washington to southeast Alaska. Photo © Chris Crisman
Jameson Kohn works a sawmill at Good Faith Lumber Mill in Thorne Bay, Alaska. The Conservancy has worked with the mill to expand the market for young-growth timber, which keeps these second-generation forests functioning more naturally by thinning out overgrown stands and helping to keep old-growth forests intact. Photo © Chris Crisman
Jameson Kohn works a sawmill at Good Faith Lumber Mill in Thorne Bay, Alaska. The Conservancy has worked with the mill to expand the market for young-growth timber, which keeps these second-generation forests functioning more naturally by thinning out overgrown stands and helping to keep old-growth forests intact. Photo © Chris Crisman

— NCM

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2 comments

  1. I find your designation of Hydaburg as a ‘native village’ to be disturbing. What does this designation mean to non-natives living in Hydaburg?
    Is Petersburg, AK a Norwegian village? Can we refer to Elfin Cove as a ‘white man’s’ village?