Reducing Hazardous Conditions Supports Tribal Autonomy

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, 2003

Fire managers in Alaska have been working with local communities, Tribes, and the Bureau of Land Management to reduce the risk of wildfire to Northway, Allakaket, and Port Alcan. In 2003, the FWS completed mechanical treatment (thinning and pile-burning) of 160 acres around these areas. All of the work was contracted to Tribal organizations, which employed local hand crews and administered the contracts through their tribal offices. Tribal crews received special training in chain saw use from the Service, BLM, and Alaska Division of Forestry. These projects reduced the risk of wildfires, enhanced tribal administrative capacity, and developed a trained and experienced work force to assist with additional mechanical and prescribed fire treatments planned for 2004.

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