95th Congress I COMMITTEE PRINT
2d Session f
ALASKA NATIONAL INTEREST LANDS
PRINTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND
NATURAL RESOURCES UNITED STATES SENATE
Publication No. 95-153
Printed for the use of the
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 46-7830O WASHINGTON : 1979
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington, Chairman
FRANK CHURCH, Idaho CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming
J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, Louisiana MARK 0. HATFIELD, Oregon JAMES ABOUREZK, South Dakota JAMES A. McCLURE, Idaho
FLOYD K. HASKELL, Colorado DEWFEY F. BARTLETT, Oklahoma
DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas LOWELL P. WEICKER, JR., Connecticut
WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico
JOHN A. DURKIN, New Hampshire PAUL LAXALT, Nevada
HOWARD M. METZENBAUM, Ohio SPARK M. MATSUNAGA, Hawaii WENDELL R. ANDERSON, Minnesota JOHN MIELCHER, Montana
GRENVILLE GARSIDE, Staff Director and Counsel
DANIEL A. DREYFUS, Deputy Staff Director for Legislation D. MICHAEL HARVEY, Chief Counsel W. 0. CRAFT, Jr., Minority Counsel
MEMORANDUM OF THE CHAIRMAN
To Members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:
The Alaska National Interest Lands legislation raises some of the most significant issues to confront the Congress in many years.
Over the past several years, the committee has conducted numerous hearings, briefings, workshops, and business meetings on these issues and the so-called Alaska (d) (2) legislation. In February of 1978, the committee majority and minority staff conducted a series of workshops in Anchorage, Alaska, designed to solicit the views of a wide variety of interest groups and agencies on a wide variety of resource issues. Representatives of numerous Federal agencies including the Department of the Interior, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, Bureau of ]Nlines, Bureau of Land Management, Geological Survey, National Park Service, Fish and lVildlife Service, and the Forest Service were invited to Darticipate. Similarly,, several State agencies including the Alaska Department of .',\-atural Resources, Alaska Department of Transportation, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game, were represented. In addition. a number of interest groups-the Alaska Miners' Association, Alaska Loggers' Association, Alaska Oil and Gas Association, and the Alaska Professional Hunters Association participated in these workshops.
Finally, the various Native Corporations and the Joint FederalState Land Use Planning Commission were invited to participate.
These participants were brought together to discuss a range of resource values and potential for each of the areas under consideration for Federal designation. These included scenic values, wildlife resources, renewable resources such as timber and fisheries, subsistence resources, the non-Federal lands issue, energy and mineral resources, and transportation/access concerns.
T ese workshop sessions pull together a wealth of information on Alaska's abundant resources. As the Congress continues to make decisimis affection ,r the classification and designation of Federal lands in Alaska, this information will be a useful addition to the public debate. Therefore, I have directed that the record of the workshops be published as a committee print for the use of members of the committee, other Senators, and interested citizens.
Many of the maps and additional materials utilized at the workshops and submitted for the record could not be included because of reproduction and duplication limitations. All of this material, however, has been retained in the committee's official files.
I commend this committee print to anyone concerned with the
(d) (2) lands issue.
HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
Memorandum of the Chairman ---------------------------------------- H1
Monday, February 13,1978 -------------------------------------------- I
Tuesday, February 14,1978 -------------------------------------------- 101
Wednesday, February 15, 1978 ---------------------------------------- 199
Thursday, February 16, 1978 ------------------------------------------ 291
Friday, February 17, 1978 --------------------------------------------- 3-19
Monday, February 20, 1978 -------------------------------------------- 497
Tuesday, February 21, 19,78 -------------------------------------------- 595
Material submitted for the record -------------------------------------- 1
[Information provided for the record by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game regarding fisheries and fishery potential in southeast Alaska.]
02 O0B Rev 10/76)
TO: Ron Somerville DATE March 14, 1978
Division of Game FLENO
JROM: u zer Tongass Wilderness Area
Dept. of Fish and Game
Attached is a miscellany of Fishery information for several of
the Tongass wilderness area proposals.
The information is from John Edgington and apparently was for
the use of Senator Jackson's Committee during its Anchorage
Feel free to use it as you see fit.
i.-ai 2 8 3
Co tal Fiaheries
j u DATE : March 7, 1978
John Edgington SUBJECT:
Enclosed are the documents for consideration of stream management for HR 39.
I have enclosed a letter for your or Dave's signature if you wish.
The plan was to have Ron Somerville take the data to Washington D. C.; you
may want to phone him.
HISTORIC AND PRESENT WEIR SITES Yakutat Forelands
Situk River 182-70-10
West Chichagof-Yakobi Islands
Klaz Bay 113-72-01
Windfall Creek 111-15-20
Pleasant Bay Creek 111-12-05
North Arm Hood Bay 112-72-12
South Arm Hood Bay 112-73-24
BIGH PRODUCTION COMMERCIAL FISHMERI STREAMS
IN THE PROPOSED
AIIRALTY ISLAND WSERNS AREA
Chinook Salmon 500 or Less
111-17-10 King Salmon
Chum Salmon 6,000 or Greater
109-30-01 Woewodski Harbor
109-30-05 Eliza Harbor, West-Side
Chum Salmon 500 to 6,000 Escapement
110-22-001 Stream Not Named
110-22-002 Old Mans Creek Pybus B
110-22-006 Pybus Bay Head
110-22-009 Beautiful Creek
110-22-010 Donkey Creek W End
110-22-014 Cannery Cove Pybus B
110-23-010 Bowman Creek
110-23-019 Snug Cove Gambier B
111-12-005 Pleasant Bay Creak
111-15-024 Windfall Harbor W Side
111-15-026 Windfall Harbor NW Side
111-17-028 Upper Seymour Can Head
111-20-024 Point League Creek
112-17-030 Fishery C:reek
112-19-015 Wilson, Cove SE
113-57-008 Stream Not Named
113-58-002 Hoonah Sound N Arm West
113-58-005 Hoonah Sound N Arm N Head
113-59-04 2>/(4c / 113-72-001 Klag Bay Head / 9 b7
Chum Salmon 500 to 6,000 Escapement cont.
113-72-002 Klag Bay East Side
113-73-004 Ford Arm SE Fork A-T
113-73-006 Waterfall Cove Creek y//i
113-73-008 Slocum Arm Flat Cove
113-73-010 Slocum Arm Head
113-73-012 Stream Not Named
113-81-002 Stream Not Named
113-81-007 Goulding Lake Head
113-81-008 Pinta Bay Head
113-95-004 Phonograph Creek, Lis. In.
113-96-002 Saltery River Stag B
113-97-007 NW Lisianski Strait
Coho Salmon 500 or Greater Escapement
109-30-25 Little Pybus Creek
111-15-20 Windfall Harbor
111-15-24 Windfall Harbor
111-16-40 Swan Cove Creek
111-17-10 King Salmon River
112-67-35 Hasselborg River
112-72-12 N. Arm Hood Bay
112-80-28 Chalk Bay
112-90-14 Whitewater Bay
Coho Salmon 100 to 500 Escapement
109-30-03 Eliza Harbor Streams
109-30-04 Eliza Harbor Streams
110-22-2 Pybus Bay Streams
110-22-3 Pybus Bay Streams
110-22-4 Pybus Bay Streams
110-22-6 Pybus Bay Streams
110-22-9 Pybus Bay Streams
Coho Salmon 100 to 500 Escapement cont.
110-22-10 Pybus Bay Streams
110-23-08 Gambier Bay Streams
111-12-05 Pleasant Bay
111-13-10 Mole Harbor
111-16-35 Swan Cove
111-41-05 Admiralty Creek
112-16-30 Wheeler Creek
112-19-10 Wilson Cove
Pink Salmon 50,000 or Greater Escapement
109-30-25 Little Pybus Creek
110-23-08 Johnston Creek
110-23-10 Bowman Creek
111-12-05 Pleasant Bay
111-13-10 Mole Harbor
111-17-10 King Salmon
112-16-30 Wheeler Creek
Pink Salmon 10,000 to 50,000 Escapement
109-30-03 Eliza Creek
109-30-13 W. Side Herring Bay
109-30-16 Tyee E. Fork
109-30-17 Tyee W. Fork
110-22-02 Old Man's
110-22-04 North Arm Pybus
110-22-06 Head Pybus
110-22-12 Donkey Bay Creek
110-23-19 Snug Cove
111-15-30 Pack Creek
111-16-40 Swan Cove
Pink Salmon 10,000 to 50,000 Escapement cont.
112-19-10 Wilson River
112-65-28 Greens Creek
112-72-11 Hood Bay
112-72-12 Hood Bay
112-73-24 Hood Bay
112-80-28 Chaik Bay
Fisheries Resources of the Proposed Admiralty Island Wilderness Area Herring
Approximately 120,000 pounds of herring were harvested from Favorite Bay on the southwest side of Admiralty Island for the winter bait and food fishery in 1976. The Seymour Canal sac roe fishery on the eastern side of the island harvested 960,000 pounds of herring for 18.8 percent of the total sac roe harvest from Southeastern Alaska for the 1976-77 season. These fisheries were valued at an estimated $151,000.00 to the fisherman. There are also several important herring wintering areas in the bays of the island. Favorite Bay, Hood Bay, Chaik Bay, Whitewater Bay, Pybus Bay, Gambier Bay, Eliza Harbor, and Seymour Canal are important areas that may support a future winter herring fishery. The most important herring spawning area is in Seymour Canal where there were 2.5 miles of spawn deposited in 1977. This area is located midway up Seymour Canal on the eastern shore. There are also smaller spawning areas in Hood, Gambier, and Pybus Bays.
PRE-EMERGENT SALMON FRY TEST STREAMS
West Chichagof-Yakobi Islands
Fick Cove Creek 113-57-01
Patterson Bay Creek 113-57-05
Hoonah Sound Creek 113-58-04
Sister Lake Creek 113-72-05
Waterfall Cove Creek 113-73-06
Lisianski River 113-95-06
Saltery River 113-96-02.
Eliza Creek 109-30-03
Little Pybus Creek 109-30-25
Donkey Bay Creek 110-22-12
Johnston Creek 110-23-08
Bowman Creek 110-23-10
Pleasant Bay Creek 111-12-05
Mole River 111-13-10
Windfall Creek 111-15-20
Pack Creek 111-15-30
Swan Cove 111-16-40
Lake Florence 112-17-25
Wilson River 112-19-10
Hood Bay North Arm Creek 112-72-12
Chaik Creek 112-80-28
Commercial Fisheries Resources of West Chichagof-Yakobi Island Proposed Wilderness Area
Approximately 1,660,000 pounds of herring were taken from Lisianski Inlet,
Hoonah Sound, and Portlock Harbor for the winter bait and food fishery in 1976 or about 13 percent of the total for Southeast Alaska. This product was worth about $99,600.00 to the fisherman. Historically fisheries have been conducted in most of the bays with major efforts in Lisianski Strait, Stag Bay, Klag Bay, Khaz Bay, and Slocum Arm. There is currently no herring sac roe fishery within the boundary of the proposed area. There is, however, a major sac roe area a short distance to the south near Sitka. Several important herring spawning sites are within the proposed boundary. They are: Lisianski Inlet, Portlock Harbor, Ogden Pass, Surveyer Pass, SlocumArm, and Khaz Bay.
HIGH PRODUCTION COMMERCIAL FISHERIES STREAMS IN THE PROPOSED
WEST CHICHAGOF-YAKOBI ISLANDS WILDERNESS AREA
Chum Salmon 6,000 or Greater Escapement
113-56-02 Ushk Bay SW End
113-56-03 Ushk Bay W End
113-56-04 Ushk Bay N End
113-57-01 Fick Cove Head
1'73-57-04 Patterson Bay SW Head
113-57-0 Patterson Bay N Head
113-57-09 Patterson Bay S Head
113-58-02 Patterson Bay N Head
113-58-03 Granite Creek N Head
113-58-04 Hoonah Sound N Head
113-64-01 Deep Bay
113-72-05 Sister Lake SE Head
113-72-06 Sister Lake SE End
113-73-03 Ford Anm
113-73-04 Ford Arm
113-81-03 Goulding Lake
113-81-10 Black Bay Head
113-95-06 Lisianski Inlet
113-96-02 Stag Bay
Chum Salm 500 to 6,000 Escapement
113-57-008 Stream Not Named
113--5002 Hoonah Sound N Arm West
11348-405 Hoonah Sound N Arm N Head
113-72-001 flag Bay Head
113-72-002 Klag Bay East Side
113-73-004 Ford Arm SE Fork
113-73-006 Waterfall Cove Creek
113-73-008 Slocum Arm Flat Cove
113-73-010 Slocum Arm Head
113-73-012 Stream Not Named
113-81-002 Stream Not Named
113-81-007 Goulding Lake Head
113-81-008 Pinta Bay Head
113-95-004 Phonograph Creek, Lis. In.
113-96-002 Saltery River Stag B
113-97-007 NW Lisianski Strait
Coho Salmon 500 or Greater Escapement
113-72-02 Klag Bay
113-81-11 Black River
113-91-11 Elfendahl Creek
113-95-04 Phonograph Creek
113-95-06 Lisianski River
113-96-02 Saltery River
Coho Salmon 100-500 Escapement
113-73-06 Waterfall Creek
113-81-07 Goulding Lake System
113-81-10 Black Bay Creek
113-91-14 Falls Creek
45-783 0 79 2
Pink Salmon 50,000 or Greater Escapement
113-56-03 Ushk Bay
113-57-01 Fick Cove
113-57-05 Patterson Bay
113-58-03 Granite Creek
113-58-04 Hoonah Sound
113-64-01 Deep Bay
113-64-05 Fish Bay River
113-71-05 Sister Lake
113-73-03 Ford Arm
113-73-06 Waterfall Cove
113-81-03 Goulding Lake System
11 38.1-1 1 Black River
113-95-06 Lisianski River
113-96-02 Saltery River
114-23-70 Mud Bay
Pink Salmon 10,000 to 50,000 Escapement
113-55-11 Poison Cove
113-56-02 Ushk Bay
113-57-02 South Arm Fick Cove
113-57-04 Patterson Bay
113-57-09 South Arm Granite
113-58-02 Hoonah Sound
113-62-01 Salisburg Sound
113-63-02 Suloia Bay
113-63-09 Range Creek
113-71-04 Rust Creek
113-72-02 Klag Bay
113-73-04 East Ford Arm
113-73-08 Flat Cove
113-73-10 Slocum Arm
Pink Salmon 10,000 to 50,000 Escapement cont.
113-81-10 Black Bay
113-95-02 Meadow Creek
113-95-04 Phonograph Creek
113-95-07 Steelhead River
Sockeye Salmon 10,000 Escapement
113-93-01 Surge Bay
Sockeye Salmon 1,000 to 10,000 Escapement
113-61-03 Leo Lake
113-72-02 Klag Bay
113-72-03 Lake Anna
113-95-04 Phonograph Creek
Fisheries Resources of Proposed Misty Fiords Wilderness Area Herring
Approximately 17.73 million pounds of herring were landed for sac roe and the winter bait and food fishery in Southeastern Alaska during 1976-77 with an approximate value to the fisherman of 1.3 million dollars. A total of 12.62 million pounds were landed as winter bait and food and 5.11 million pounds were landed for sac roe.
A significant portion of both the bait and food fisheries and sac roe fisheries are produced in those waters closely associated with the proposed wilderness area. The Behm Narrows and Fitzgibbon Cove areas located in the northern portion contributed 320,000 pounds and 80,000 pounds respectively to the bait and food fishery valued at about $24,000.00 to the fisherman. This accounts for 3.2 percent of the total harvest for Southeastern Alaska. The Boca de Quadra area in the southwestern portion of the unit contributed 1,660,000 pounds to the sac roe fishery valued at an estimated $250,000.00 or 32 percent of the total sac roe harvest for Southeast Alaska. That area near the mouth of Boca de Quadra from Kirk Point to Point Sykes received 12 linear miles of herring spawn representing approximately 33,390,000 spawning herring. In addition, there are small areas in Nakat Bay, Harry Bay, Tongass Island and Roe Point that receive herring spawn. Small wintering populations exist in most of the bays with a possible winter fishery in the Nakat Inlet, Fillmore Inlet area. The entire shoreline of the area is an important feeding area for adult and juvenile herring.
Commercial Fisheries Resources within the Proposed Misty Fiords
Commercial fishering efforts near the proposed area are restricted to the the saltwater environment. Sevez I species of commercial importance however are closely associated with the land* primarily the five species of salmon which spawn in the rivers and streams and herring which spawn on the beach. Commercial species which occur in the area include salmon, herring, shrimp, crab, flounder, pollock, and halibut, of which salmon and herring are most important with the others being of lesser significance in this area.
Salmon harvesting is done with purse seines, gillnets and troll gear to
harvest all five species of salmon in the waters bordering the proposed wilderness area. In 1977, fishermen caught 12.5 million pink salmon in Southeastern Alaska, 4.2 million of which were from District I. The proposed unit makes up the major portion of District I, which includes all waters east to the U.S. border from a line south of Caamano Point in western Behm Canal through Clarence Strait to the southern U.S. border. It is very difficult to break down the catch to smaller areas due to the mixed stock nature of the fishery. However, a very significant portion of about one-third of the total pink salmon harvest for Southeast Alaska did originate in the proposed wilderness area. The value of pink salmon caught in District I was approximately $6,019,200.00 (4.18 million fish 4 pounds average $.36 per pound) to the fisherman. All of the streams supporting a king salmon population in the Ketchikan area are within the proposed area. The nine-year average (1968-1976) king salmon troll catch in District I is 26,525 fish worth approximately $686,528.00 (26,S25 fish 18 pounds average $1.44 per pound). Although the troll catch also represents mixed stocks to some degree, king stocks bound for the mainland streams are known to concentrate in higher percentages in the inland waters of District I. These
rivers also contribute to the area commercial gilinet and seine incidental king catches.
There are approximately 190 streams within the area that are recognixed as being important for the spawning and migration of anadromous fish. The Fisheries Task Force for the Tongass Land Management Plan has identified 18 streams
within the proposed area capable of greater than 50,000 pink salmon escapement and 19 with between 10,000 and 50,000 escapement. In addition there are: 13
streams with greater than, 000 chum escapement, 13 with between 500 and 6, 000 chum escapement, 2 with greater than 10,000 sockeye, 1 with between 1,000 and
10, 000 sockeyes, 23 with greater than 500 coho, 8 with between 100 and 500 coho,
4 with between 500 and 5,000 kings and 7 with less than 500 king escapement. These streams are itemized in Table 1.
The effective management of this large and very important resource requires access to all the streams for accurate enumeration of returning adults, habitat protection and stream improvement projects, and the establishment and maintanence of a variety of study sites. There are six pre-emergent fry study areas currently within the area boundary, these involve nothing more than helicoptor access but may change from year to year. There are also 7 weir sites within the area that have been used in past years. There are also sites on approximately 7 other streams that require access or facilities of some sort. In addition, as part of our enforcement effort a small number of tent sites are used each summer throughout the area to insure that regulations are obeyed. These sites are summarized in Table 2.,
Table 1. High production commercial fisheries streams in the proposed Misty
Fiords Wilderness Area.
Chinook Salmon 500 to 5,000 escapement
101-30-30 Keta 101-71-04 Chickamin 101-75-30 Unuk 101-55-20 Wilson-Blossom Rivers
Chinook Salmon 500 or less escapement
101-30-60 Marten 101-60-30 Big Goat 101-60-15 Rudyerd 101-71-26 Walker 101-75-50 Klahine 101-75-10 Grant 101-75-05 Herman
Chum Salmon 6,000 or greater escapement
101-11-101 Hidden Inlet 101-15-019 Tombstone River 101-30-030 Keta River 101-30-060 Marten River 101-55-020 Wilson River 101-60-030 Big Goat Creek 101-71-014 King Creek Behm Canal 101-71-016 Choca Creek 101-75-005 Herman Creek 101-75-010 Grant Creek 101-75-015 Eulachon River 101-75-080 Robinson Creek
Chum Salmon 500 to 6,000 escapement
101-11-014 Harry Bay 101-11-065 Willard Creek 101-15-008 Sandfly Creek 101-15-014 Halibut Bay N. Head 101-55-040 Blossom River 101-55-060 Bakewell Creek 101-70-068 creek-not-named 101-71-008 Humpy Creek Behm Canal 101-71-025 Walker Cove L. Head 101-71-028 Walker Cove SE Side 101-71-050 Grace Creek 101-71-063 Portage Creek 101-75-050 Klahini River 101-75-076 Saks Creek 101-80-003 Cow Creek
Table 1. Continued
Coho Salmon S00 or greater escapement
101-11-33 Nakat Creek 101-11-37 1/2 mile head Nakat Inlet 101-11-74 Fillmore Inlet 101-11-75 Cannine Creek 101-11-79 Fillmore River 101-11-100 Hidden Inlet 101-1S-08 Sandfly Bay 101-15-19 Tombstone Creek 101-30-30 Keta River 101-30-60 Marten Creek 101-30-75 Hugh Smith Creek 101-30-83 Humpback Creek 101-51-78 Princess Bay Creek 101-55-20 Wilson River 101-55-40 Blossom River 101-60-15 Rudyerd River 101-60-30 Big Goat Creek 101-71-14 King Creek 101-71-26 Walker Cove 101-71-28 Walker Cove 101-71-63 Portage Creek 101-75-15 Eulachon River 101-75-30 Unuk River 101-80-03 Cow Creek
Coho Salmon 100 to 500 escapement
101-11-65 Willard Creek 101-41-12 Coho Cove 101-41-43 Black Creek 101-45-38 Salt Creek 101-51-67 Narrow Pass Creek 101-51-90 Ella Creek 101-55-09 Cabin Creek 101-55-60 Bakewell Creek 101-55-87 Skull Creek 101-75-05 Herman Creek
Pink Salmon 50,000 or greater escapement
101-11-65 Willard Creek 101-11-79 Fillmore Creek 101-11-101 Hidden Inlet 101-15-19 Tombstone River 101-23-19 Very Creek 101-30-30 Keta River 101-30-60 Marten River 101-30-83 Humpback 101-55-20 Wilson River 101-55-40 Blossom River 101-71-04 Chickamin River & Tributaries 101-71-28 Walker Cove S. Side
Table 1. Continued.
Pink Salmon 50,000 or greater escapement (continued)
101-71-63 Portage 101-75-05 Herman 101-75-10 Grant 101-75-15 Eulachon 101-75-30 Unuk Tributaries 101-75-50 Klahini
Pink Salmon 10,000 to 50,000 escapement
101-11-14 Harry Bay N. Head 101-11-33 Nakat Creek 101-11-37 1/2 mile head Nakat Inlet 101-11-75 Canine Creek 101-11-99 Cannery Creek 101-15-08 Sandfly Creek 101-15-14 Halibut Bay 101-30-09 Weasel Cove 101-30-12 Badger 101-30-70 Red River 101-30-89 Mink Arm Head 101-30-95 Vixen 101-55-09 Cabin Creek 101-55-60 Bakewell Head 101-60-09 Nooya Creek 101-60-25 Boulder 101-60-30 Big Goat 101-75-76 Sacs 101-75-80 Robinson 101-80-03 Cow Creek
Sockeye Salmon 10,000 or greater escapement
101-00-39 Nakat Lake 101-30-75 Sockeye Creek
Sockeye Salmon 1,000 to 10,000 escapement
Table 2. Commercial fisheries research study areas in the proposed Misty
Fiords Wilderness Area.
101-30-30 Keta River Proposed mine study site
101-30-45 (no name) Proposed mine study site
101-30-75 Hugh Smith Lake Old hatchery site, sockeye research,
weir site in early 1970's
101-30-83 Humpback Creek Pre-emergent fry sampling, outmigrant
101-55-09 Cabin Creek Pre-emergent fry sampling, outmigrant
study area, previous weir site
101-55-20 Wilson River Pre-emergent fry sampling, proposed
mine study area
101-55-55 Wolverine Creek Proposed mine sutdy area
101-55-73 Bakewell River Ladder, coho, sockeye enhancement
101-60-30 Big Goat Weir site 1950's, past pre-emergent
101-74-04 Chickamin River Weir site, king salmon study and
101-71-63 Portage Creek Pre-emergent fry sampling
101-75-05 Herman Creek Pre-emergent fry sampling weir site,
outmigrant fry study area
101-75-15 Eulachon River Pre-emergent fry sampling
101-75-30 Unuk River King salmon enhancement site
Commercial fisheries values of the proposed Karta River Wilderness Area
The Karta River, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Number 102-60-87, is an important producer of fish or the commercial fishery with all species of Pacific salmon except kings. Pinks and chum generallly spawn below Salmon and Karta Lakes and coho and sockeye spawning in the lake tributaries and between lakes. Salmon and Karta Lakes are also utilized by rearing sockeye and coho.
The system is classified as: a Category I chum salmon stream with greater than 6,000 escapement, a Category I coho salmon stream with greater than 300 escapement, a Category I pink salmon stream with greater than 50,000 escapement, and a Category 2 sockeye stream with escapements between 1,000 and 10,000 adults, by the multi-agency Tongass Land Management Fisheries Task Force. Historic peak escapements counts range from 1,000 to 250,000 fish, If we ass,e that peak escapement counts represent one-half of the total escapement, the counts would correspond to a total escapement range of 2,000 to 500,O00 fish. The average annual escapement for the 1963-1975 period is 75,600 with a range of 6,000 to 272,000 fish. Experience has shown that we harvest about one-third of the returning pinks and chums in the commercial fishery. Using the current price of approximately $.60 per pound and 3.5 pounds per fish we can show an annual value to the fisherman of $79,380.000 (37,800 fish 3.5 pounds $.60 per pound). Good escapement data for sockeye and coho is lacking, however, we can calculate the potential numbers of these fish the stream could produce. There are 1,570 acres of sockeye rearing area available that should have the ability to produce 22 adults per acre. One-third of the 34,540 adults would be available to harvest with an annual potential value to the fisherman of $50,950.00 (11,513 fish 3.9 pounds $.75 per pound). There are also 1620 acres of mixed stream and lake rearing areas for coho that should be able to produce 12,891 adults to the catch with an annual value to the fisherman of $96,683.00 (12,891 fish 7.5 pounds $1.00 per pound). This indicates a total annual value to the fisherman of $227,023.00 for this
The unit boundary also includes Black Bear Lake in the western portion that does not have any current commercial fisheries values. The saltwater shoreline portion of the unit encompasses no important herring fishery on spawning areas or associated saltwater fisheries for other species.
DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GA ME
OFF"E OF MHE COMMISSIONER SUIPOSRUIL DIMS AIMAI
February 22, 1978
The Honorable Henry M. Jackson Chairman
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources United States Senate Washington, D. C. 20501
Dear Senator Jackson:
On February 13, members of my staff testified before your Committee in Anchorage concerning fisheries values on (d)(2) lands in Southeastern Alaska. Due to the interest in Admiralty Island, little time remained for adequate testimony on several other areas of concern in Southeastern Alaska. I would like to submit the enclosed additional
material for the record.
I appreciate the opportunity provided my staff to testify before the Committee, and hope the enclosed information is useful in your deliberations.
Ronald 0. Skoog -iA'
Commissioner ;ERGY AND
in 1972, the staff of the Division of Sport Fish identified what they felt were the most outstanding recreational fishing waters in southeastern Alaska. This list of waters included eighteen separate systems. All of these systems were subsequently recommended to the U.S. Forest Service by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for study as wilderness areas. Several of these systems are included on lands affected by the D-2 proposals in southeastern Alaska.
These systems, which we consider to have outstanding fishery values, are: Situk River, Kanalku Lake and 1asselborg-Thayer Lakes (included in Admiralty proposal), Goulding River and Lakes (included in W. Chichagof proposal), Castle River, Petersburg Creek and Duncan Salt Chuck (included in Duncan Canal proposal), Karta System, Mud Bay Creek (included in Idaho Inlet-Mud Bay proposal), Kadake Creek, Pavlof System, Salmon Bay system, Sarkar Lakes and Sweetwater-Honker Divide.
For each of these systems we have recommended that they be managed for dispersed recreation in a wilderness state. However, we very strongly recommend that established access via plane, boat and trail be allowed to continue. In addition, we recommend that the U.S. Forest Service recreational cabins in these areas be allowed to remain.
For your information I have attached a brief resume of the fishery values for each of these systems.
Situk River (182-70-010)
This river system is in the Chatham Forest Service District on the Yakutat mainland (map reference Yakutat C-4, B-5, C-5) and is approximately 20 miles long with an average width of 80 feet and an average depth of 2-3 feet. The origins Include Redfield Lake, Mountain Lake, Situk Lake, and small mountain lakes.
Fish species present in the system include king salmon, silver salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, steelhead trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden.
Currently, red salmon are the most abundant of the five species of Pacific salmon (more than 40,000 counted by Dinneford, 1975) followed by by pink, king, silver, and chum salmon respectively, The system supports excellent runs of steelhead and Dolly Varden, and rarely cutthroat trout. Resident rainbow trout are available in the lakes and the river.
There are three Forest Service cabins in the area which were used for approximately 2,900 visitor-days in 1975.
Creel censuses conducted along the river in 1975 indicated that 93 angler days were expended in landing 290 steelhead trout during the spring run, and 399 angler days were expended in landing 119 king salmon
and 58 silver salmon in June and July. These were limited creel census efforts made primarily to ascertain the effects of regulation changes. Eleven subsistence use permits issued to local residents produced catches of 27 king salmon, 510 red salmon, and 40 silver salmon.
The lower river provides excellent opportunities for float trips through an area of abundant wildlife, and scenic wilderness.
Mud Bay Creek (114-23-070)
This system is located in the Chatham Forest Service District on the north end of Chichagof Island (map-reference Juneau A-6). Qttpr Lake drains i-nto the main system via one of the shorter tributaries.
Silver' salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden utilize the spawning and rearing area within this system. Pink and chum salmon are periodically abundant with high pink salmon escapements on odd years and Otter Lake reportedly receives runs of red salmon and cutthroat trout. Dolly Varden are abundant throughout the system with two to three pounders being common.
There are no Forest Service cabins in the area, but the outstanding fishing opportunities and exceptional scenic beauty of the area point to
increasing recreational use.
45-783 0 79 3
Pavlof Harbor System (112-50-010)
This system is located in the Chatham Forest Service District on Chichagof Island, Freshwater Bay (map reference Sitka, D-4) and includes the Pavlof River system draining into Pavlof Lake which in turn drains into
Silver salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are present in certain portions of the system.
Silver salmon and red salmon are fairly abundant with important spawning and rearing areas throughout the main river and tributaries above the lake. Pink salmon are periodically abundant in the lower portions of the system with some use by chum salmon. Healthy populations of cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden are established in the lake and also use the upper portions of the system as rearing habitat.
There are no Forest Service cabins in the vicinity, but the system offers excellent opportunities for sport fishing, deer hunting, camping, hiking, and canoeing. The high productivity and scenic beauty of the area are likely to be affected by the current and future logging activities throughout the area.
Hasselborg Thayer Systems (112-17-050 & 112-67-035)
This complex of lakes and streams is located in the central area of Admiralty Island (map reference Sitka G-1,, C-2, and D-1) and consists of ten lakes and interconnecting streams. These lakes include Thayer, Hasselborg, McKinney, Distin, Guerin, Davidson, Beaver, Alexander, Jim's and Freshwater lakes.
Cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, and Kokanee are abundant in most of the lakes and sport fishing opportunities are excellent. Although the two major streams, Hasselborg River (stream #112-67-035) and, Thayer Creek (stream #112-17-050), have barrier falls within a mile of the intertidal areas they both support salmon runs. Hasselborg River has been identified by the Commiercial Fish Division as a Category 1 silver salmon system with escapements exceeding 500 adults, a Category 2 pink salmon stream with escapements within the range of 10,000 to 50,000 adults, and a Category 2 chum salmon stream with escapements within the range of 500 to 6,000 adults. Thayer Creek supports runs of pink and chum salmon.
There are seven Forest Service cabins in the area and according to Forest Service inforamtion four of these cabins received 3,500 visitor-days of use in 1975. THere is also a commercial lodge on Thayer Lake. In addition, there are several trails connecting the various lakes, but unfortunately recent information indicates that the trails are in poor condition.
Kanalku Lake (112-67-060)
This lake is located in the Chatham Forest Service District east of Angoon on Admiralty Island (map reference Sitka, B-2). It is one of three lakes on Admiralty Island that is accessible to anadromous fish.
Silver salmon, red salmon, cutthroat trout, kokanee, and Dolly Varden are present in the lake. The populations of silver salmon, cutthroat trout, and kokanee appear to be in excellent condition, and the red salmon run is quite distinctive. The red salmon in this run are smaller than normal red salmon, and it is thought that this is the result of smaller fish being able to successfully negotiate a partial block at the outlet of the lake. A few thousand pink salmon and some chum salmon use the outlet stream as a spawning area.
The partial barrier also creates an excellent feeding area for brown bears, and there are several vantage points providing excellent opportunities for bear observation and photography.
There are no Forest Service cabins in the area, but camping, hunting, and fishing opportunites are excellent.
Goulding River and Lakes (113-81-003)
This system is located in the Chathamn Forest Service District on West Chichigof Island draining into Goulding Harbor (map reference Sitka, D7). The system consists of four lakes: #1, #2, #3 Otter Lake, and #4 Goulding Lake; and the interconnecting streams. Goulding River is the stream draining from Lake #1 into Goulding Harbor. There is a falls at the outlet of Lake #1 which is a barrier to the passage of anadromous fish, and another series of falls between Lakes #1 and #2 which are also barriers to fish passage. Periodically several thousand pink and/or chum salmon spawn below the lower falls.
All four lakes have excellent populations of cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout. Apparently these populations are the result of stocking by U.S. Forest Service personnel in the 1940's but specific information is
There is one Forest Service cabin at Otter Lake which received 400 visitor days of use in 1975. Excellent sport fishing opportunites,, deer hunting, camping, a potential canoe system, and the scenic beauty of the area indicate increasing recreational use in the years to come.
Castle River (106-43-021)
This river system is located in the Stikine Forest Service District on Kupreanof Island and drains into the Duncan Canal (map reference Petersburg, C-4, C-5).
Silver salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, steelhead trout, and Dolly Varden trout utilize the system. Silver salmon are the most consistently abundant with runs of several thousand being reported. Pink and chum salmon are periodically abundant. Cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout are abundant throughout the year, and there is a large run of steelhead trout in the spring, and a smaller run in the fall.
This system receives a substantial amount of fishing~pressure from the residents of Petersburg. There are two Forest Service cabins available and they received 600 visitor-days of use in the 1976 season.
In addition to the excellent silver salmon, cutthroat, and Dolly Varden fishing, the area is noted for its deer and waterfowl hunting.
Duncan Canal Salt Chuck (106-43-059)
This system is located in the Stikine Forest Service District at the head of Duncan Canal on Kupreanof Island (map reference Petersburg, D-4, D-5),. and consists of stream #106-43-059 which drains into the Duncan Salt Chuck which in turn drains into Duncan Canal.
Silver salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden and possibly steelhead trout utilize the salt chuck and portions of the stream. Several thousand silver salmon and large numbers of cutthroat trout contribute to the excellent sport fishery at the salt chuck rapids.
There-are three Forest Service cabins in the area and they received 800 visitor days of use during the 1975 season.
The area is also a major wildlife area with resident and migrant waterfowl, black bear, and wolves utilizing the system.
Petersburg Creek (106-44-060)
This system is located in the Stikine Forest Service District on Kupreanof Island near Petersburg and drains into the Wrangell Narrows (map reference Petersburg, D-4), and includes tributaries to Petersburg Lake and Petersburg Creek.
The' Petersburg Creek weir has been in operation since 1971 primarily to obtain information on the life histories of steelhead and cutthroat trout, but weir operation has yielded information on the numbers of all fish species using the system. In the order of abundance the in-migrant fish species passing the weir are as follows: Dolly Varden, pink salmon, red salmon, chum salmon, silver salmon, cutthroat trout, and steelhead trout. Rainbow trout are also present in the lake.
There is one Forest Service cabin in the area, and it received over 1,000 visitor-days of use in 1975. Petersburg Lake and Creek are favorite fishing areas for Petersburg residents.
Kadak Creek (109-42-030)
This sytem is located in the Stikine Forest Service District on Kuiu Island and drains into Kadak Bay (map reference Port Alexander, C-1, D1 ; Petersburg, D-6).
Silver salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, steelhead trout, cutthroat trout, and Dolly Varden utilize this system. Pink salmon have been periodically the most abundant with runs exceeding 10,000. Chum arid silver salmon runs are smaller. Dolly Varden are the most abundant of the trout, followed by cutthroat and steelhead.
There is one Forest Service cabin at Kadak Bay and it received 222 visitor-days of use in 1976. Sport fishing opportunities are excellent with the majority of use coming from residents of Kake which is nearby. There-are also excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities in the bay near the mouth of the stream.
Sweetwater Thorne Systems (106-30-035 & 102-70-058)
These two large and complex systems of lakes and streams are located on the northeast end of Prince of Wales Island in the Ketchikan Forest Service District (map reference Craig D-3, Petersburg A-3; and Craig C-3, C-2). The Sweetwater Lake system contains six major lakes and associated tributaries, and the Thorne system contains seven lake-stream systems.
Both systems are very productive and support significant populations of silver salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, steelhead trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden trout. Pink salmon runs in the lower portion of the Thorne system have periodically exceeded 10,000 spawners in recent years.
There are currently three cabins in the area and a large portion of the fishing pressure comes from people associated with nearby logging operations. The potentials for wilderness recreation and sport fishing are excellent and the systems are being considered for inclusion in a scenic riverswilderness-canoe area. Such a classification would agree quite well with the current use of the area, since it is already one of the most popular canoe systems in Southeast Alaska.
Sarkar Lake System (103-90-014)
This lake and stream system is located in the Ketchikan Forest Service District on the northwest side of Prince of Wales Island and includes several lakes and interconnecting streams and tributaries (map reference Craig D-4, Petersburg A-4).
Silver salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, steelhead trout, and Dolly Varden have been reported in Sarkar, Finger, and Long lakes, and all of the above species except pink and chum salmon have been reported in the upper lakes.
There is one Forest Service cabin on the system, and it received 200
visitor-days of use during the 1975 season. Sport fishing and canoeing opportunities are excellent throughout this system; and when the existing road system in the area becomes available for public use, and the proposed link-up with the Marine Highway System is completed, recreational utilization of the entire system will undoubtedly increase.
Karta System (102-60-87)
This system is located on the east side of Prince of Wales Island in the Ketchikan Forest Service District and drains into Karta Bay (map reference Craig C-2, C-3). The system includes Andersen Lake and Creek, and McGilvery Creek which drains into Salmon Lake. Salmon Lake then drains into Karta (Little Salmon) Lake and into Karta Bay via the Karta River.
Silver salmon, red salmon, pink salmon, chum salmon, cutthroat trout, steelhead trout, rainbow trout, and Dolly Varden are abundant in various portions of the system. Pink and chum salmon are periodically abundant in the lower portions with escapements ranging from 1,000 to more than 10,000. The highest recorded escapement of pink salmon was over 100,000.
Both Andersen and McGilvery creeks support fair size runs of red and silver salmon with Andersen being noted as a silver stream and McGilvery as a red stream. Trout are abundant throughout the system with excellent spring and fall runs of steelhead in the Karta River. Andersen Lake does not support any anadromous species but does have resident populations of Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout.
There are three Forest Service cabins in the area, and they received 2,200 visitor-days of use in 1975. The high recreational use of the area and the substantial populations of the various fish species makes this one of the most important watersheds in Southeast Alaska.
[Discussion of fish and wildlife resources of Admiralty Island prepared by Robert R. Leedy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.]
FISH AND WiLDLm RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS FOR ADMIRALTY ISLAND
Admiralty Island is the most productive and least disturbed major island ecosystem remaining in Southeast Alaska. Although the island contains fewer vegetation types and species of animals than some regions of the state, it supports a wide variety of plant and animal communities related to a continuum of physiographic environments ranging from rich marine and estuarine zones to rocky mountain peaks. Admiralty is a diverse system of beach grasses, forest, muskeg, meadow, brush and alpinetundra blended together by transition zones and interspersed with numerous streams and lakes. Its most significant fish and wildlife resources include salmon, deer, brown/grizzly bear and the highest density of breeding bald eagles in North America.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
The fishery resources of Admiralty Island and nearby coastal waters are critical to existence of high populations of brown/grizzly bear and bald eagles on the island and are important to continued viability of commercial and subsistence fisheries in northern Southeast Alaska. Following a request by the U.S. Forest Service in 1962, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game forwarded recommendations for setting aside thirty key salmon producing watersheds in southeast Alaska as natural areas. This proposal was based on the State agency's comparative evaluation of watersheds for commercial fish values and associated values related to sport fishing, hunting for waterfowl and big game, production of fur, and general recreation. Ten of these streams were located on Admiralty Island, primarily on the east coast (Kirkness, 1962). No legislative protection exists for these areas, but their selection illustrates well the importance of Adiniralty Island relative to the rest of Southeastern Alaska. Six to ten aquacmlture opportunities, such as fish hatcheries, have been identified on the Island.
Salnwn.-The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has classified 187 salmon streams on Admiralty Island. Potential production of 67 of the larger of these streams has been estimated to be well over 2 million fish annually. Twenty-two streams have average annual escapements in excess of 10,000 salmon. Location of these 22 major streams are shown on the accompanying map, and escapement data for the streams are presented in the accompanying table. Although all five species of Pacific salmon spawn on the island, these data pertain only to pink salmon, the most abundant species in Southeastern Alaska and the only one for which reliable data are available. Escapements during the last five years have ranged from a high of 789,525 salmon in 1972 to a low of 71,560 in 1976.
MAJOR SALMON STREAM ESCAPEMENTS-ADMIRALTY ISLAND, 1972-76
Name and No. 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976
Wheeler Creek, 112-16-30 -------------- 4,000 40,000 2,000 28,000 1,000
Florence Creek, 112-17-25 ------------- 6.100 500 50 1,000 (1)
Greens Creek 112-65-24 --------------- 4; 100 11,000 1,100 3,100 400
Hood Bay, lli-72-11 ------------------ 4,500 800 2,300 300 1,300
Hood Bay,112-72-12 ------------------ 4,000 2,000 300 50 (5)
Weir Creek, 16,300 7,000 5,000 2,500 1,400
Chaik Bay Creek, 112-80-28 ------------ 38,600 15,000 5,000 3,000 6,000
Whitewater Bay Creek, 112-90-14 ------- 21,000 14,000 6,000 2,500 1,500
Wilson River, 31,000 7,800 1,900 1 350 400
Johnston Creek, 110-23-08 ------------- 78,000 39,000 68,000 11:500 15,000
Bowman Creek, 110-23-10 ------------- 34,000 14,000 22,000 3,500 10,000
Donkey Bay Creek, 21,000 15,500 10,000 750 6,300
Eliza Creek, 109-30-03 ----------------- 18,000 45,000 4,000 1,400 1,400
Tyee East, 109-30-16 ------------------ 3,500 4,700 5,000 300 2,500
(1) 6,600 11 000 1,000 (1)
Pleasant Bay, 111-12-05 --------------- 139,200 50,000 41:000 10,380 10,100
Mole River, 151,700 36,000 48,000 15,000 9,000
Windfall Creek, 111-15-20 ------------- 36,325 3,000 35,000 1,830 800
Pack Creek, 35,650 5,200 16,500 1,000 1,110
Swan Cove Creek, 56,550 10,000 26,000 4,000 700
King Salmon Creek, 111-17-10 ---------- 51,000 14,000 30,000 1,200 2,000
Admiralty Creek, 3,500 10,000 2,500 6,400 650
Total -------------------------- 789,525 348,400 342,650 100,060 71,560
Escapements to major streams have declined drastically in recent years, not only on Admiralty Island, but throughout the northern half of Southeastern Alaska. Reason for the decline is due partially to severe winter conditions during the winters of 1973 and 1974, but long-term effects of over-exploitation and past logging practices also are suspected to have been contributing factors. Preliminary escapement surveys for 1977 indicate that survival of the 1975 year-class pink salmon was good. The downward trend, at least on the odd-year cycle, will be reversed this year.
Records of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game indicate that harvest generally has declined for all species of salmon in the Admiralty area during the last 10 years. Days of open purse seine season have declined steadily in the Chatham District along western Admiralty as attempts have been made by the state to increase spawning stocks and escapement. The Chatham District was closed completely in 19705 and 1976. It shoffld be noted that most of the salmon traditionally caught in the Chatham District have been intercepted as migrants going around the island rather than to it.
Irerring.-Populations of herring in estuaries of Admiralty Island provide the major food supply for many species of fish and wildlife. Herring spawn at various locations around the island, but the major spawning grounds are in the areas of Seymour Canal, Hood Bay and Chaik Bay. Locations of known herring spawning areas are shown on the accompanying map. Spawning usually occurs during the month of April.
COMMERCIAL HERRING HARVEST FROM ADMIRALTY ISLAND ESTUARIES, 1971 TO JUNE 1977
Yea r Estuary Harvest in pounds
1971 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Seymour Canal ---- 692,000
1972 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ do ----------- 945,200
1973 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ do ----------- 1,012,400
1974__. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Hood Bay --------- 417,800
Seymour Canal ---- 1,807,600
Subtotal --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2,225,400
1975 ------------------------------------------------------------------ I- Hood Bay --------- 405,600
1976 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pybus Bay -------- 40,000
.Gambier Bay ------ 20,000
Seymour Canal---- 500,000
Subtotal ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 560,000
1977 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Favorite Bay ------ 123,500
Seymour Canal ---- 960,000
Subtotal --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1,083,500
Total harvest, 1971 to June 1977 ------------------------------------------------------ 6,924,010
Commercial harvest of herring from estuaries of Admiralty Island is controlled by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The accompanying table depicts
harvest levels from 1971 to June 1977. During this period, harvest fluctuated from a low of 405.600 pounds in, 1975 to a high of 2,225,44)o pounds ini 1974. The majority of the catch was taken in the Seyinour Canal area, but io harvest was allowed there during the 1975 season by the Alaska department of Fish and (4lame. Total harvest of herring (luring the period 1971 through June 1977 was 6,924,100 pounds.
Most herring are sold as commercial bait, but increasing food market demand and limitations on take in major harvest areas during 197I-77 forced fishermen to move into smaller bays unfished in previous years. Juneau (old Storage took 60 tons of a 100 ton limit of herring out of Favorite Bay near Angnoon and caused villagers to be concerned for the welfare of herring stocks and feeder king salmon they attract during winter. Harvest in the bay was closed early due to public outcry and lack of sufficient data to justify specific limits on the take.
Herring populations fluctuate from year to yeai and must be managed on an annual basis. There are many factors that impact survival of any year-class of herring, but the most critical period is during the first six weeks of their life cycle. The physical and biological conditions during this period have major ipacts on survival rates. For example, if the herring spawn is deposited at high tide, then eggs exposed during low tide are lost ; the amount of plankton available for food in the estuaries is another controlling factor.
Sport Fish.-Over half of the lake acreage (15,000 acres) in the Chatham District occurs in conjunction with prime sport fishing streams on Admiralty Island. The Admiralty Lakes Area contains two-thirds of these. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has identified one outstanding and over a dozen excellent sport fishery systems yielding cutthroat and trout, steelhead, dolly varden, and coho salmon. Additional salt water sportfish values are associated with winter king salmon at Angoon and summer commercial fisheries (Powers, 1972).
Admiralty Island supports the greatest concentration of nesting bald eagles in existence. The island has an average of over one eagle nest per mile of coastline; some areas have over 4 nests per mile. Over ,900 nests are known along the S60 miles of convoluted coastline and a computer print-out of location of these nests produces a map of the island (see copy from Robards and Hodges, 1977). Approximately 40-45% of these nests (456L5%) are active in any given year. Average annual production is about 1.2 birds per nest, or about 550 young per year.
Eagles require very large, old growth trees near the waterfront in which to build nests. A memorandum of understanding between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service requires that no timber be cut within 330 feet of an eagle nest tree, but long term adequacy of this policy appears doubtful. More than 90 percent of nesting and perching habitat would be lost under this policy and timber within buffer zones could be cut as soon as a nest tree were destroyed by natural causes.
ADMIRALTY ISLAND, EAGLES NEST13 sil
E*L pET 893
ONE INCH EQrL-1.5,
In any areas that might be logged. a total beach fringe buffer zone would be the minimum acceptable answer for long term management of nesting and perching habitat. Over 95% of the nests could be protected by a one eighth mile strip with special buffer zones for the few nests outside the strip. In areas with suspected high windfall risk. the buffer zone should be as wide as necessary to be windfirm.
The eagle population of Admiralty Island would decrease without necessary stocks of fish. Primary source of food during nesting season is herring, augmented by cod, smelt and other species upon which young eagles thrive. Proper management of these species is vital for continued welfare of the eagles. Spawnedout salmon become an essential food item in the fall when recently fledged young birds are learning to forage for themselves. Perpetuation of spawning stocks in all current spawning streams will be necessary, and opportunities for management of fisheries should not be overlooked as a tool for management of eagles as well. Management of fisheries beyond Admiralty may be as important to eagles on the island as for populations elsewhere in Southeastern Alaska.
An area of ecological concern for Admiralty is difficult to define, but the late run of chum salmon on the Chilkat River near Haines is of outstanding importance to eagles throughout the northern panhandle. An average of 2,500 eagles. including many immature, depends on this run which occurs annually from October to January along a five mile stretch of river.
Mining operations proposed near the concentration area will have to be carefully planned and monitored to insure there will be no impact on the run of chum salmon.
Southeast Alaska is one of the last strongholds for our national bird and Admiralty Island is the last large island in southeast Alaska without major logging or other commercial activity. The best protection for productive eagle habitat on Admiralty Island would be to designate the entire island as wilderness or otherwise give it status that would prohibit logging or other industrial use or concentrations of people.
Admiralty Island is as well known for its high population of large brown/ grizzly bears as it is for eagles. Several studies suggest a population of as many as 1,000 bears on Admiralty, or a density of about 1 bear per 1,000 acres of total land mass. Recent studies by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show that drainages of Hood Bay, a fairly typical bay on southwest Admiralty, are inhabited by as many as 72 to 104 bears (Wood, 1976). There apparently is limited interchange into adjacent bays.
The only area of bear habitat known to compare with Admiralty Island in terms of population density is Kodiak Island. Total acreage of Kodiak is about 2.5 million acres, 1.8 million acres of which is within the existing Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Population of bears on the Refuge is about 2,000; population of bears off the Refuge is about 300. 'Mus, density of bears on the Refuge may be somewhat higher than for Admiralty, but density for the entire island of Kodiak would be equal or less. Refuge status will be lost on much of Kodiak after conveyance of lands to Natives pursuant to ANCSA.
Admiralty Island contributes approximately 5 percent of the legal statewide harvest of brown/grizzly bears and about 35 percent of the harvest in Southeast. The most productive areas of Admiralty have been Hook, Chiak, Gambier and Pybus Bays. Number of bears killed on Admiralty averaged 34 per year between 1964 and 1972 but rose to 52 between 1973 and 1976 (Johnson, 1976a). Although even recent levels of harvest are not suspected by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to be impacting populations significantly, the State recognizes that quality of hunting has declined as hunter interactions become more common. The draft Alaska Wildlife Management Plan for Southeastern Alaska states, "increased demand for bear trophies is beginning to express itself through unsatisfactory hunter interactions in the field. Hunter crowding should be prevented by a permit system that will limit the number of hunters in the field at any one time. . With increases in hunting pressure, permit allocation may result in some. loss of hunting opportunity. Permits might also result in loss of guiding opportunity including expansion into this area by guides not now hunting it."
Two areas are reserved on Admiralty Island for nonconsumptive use: Thayer Mountain and Pack Creek are closed to hunting. Access to Thayer Mountain is difficult and the area is rarely used. Observation towers at Pack Creek are used annually by about 50 persons, mostly Juneau residents, to view and photo-
graph bears. The existing reserve comprises only a portion of yearly bear range in the area and offers only limited protection from hunting. The Alaska Wildlife
Maigement Plan recommends expansion of the sanctuary to include all drainages; of WXindfall Harbor.
Logging in southeast Alaska generally is done by clear-cutting; unfortunately, the effects of clear-cut logging on bear populations, or bear hunting, are poorly understood. Perensovich (1866) reported that effects were slight but felt his s tudy was of too short duration to 1,e conclusive. A known impact is the rather large number of 'bears destroyed in logging and support camps. Many of these conflicts would be avoidable if camps were chosen to avoid prime bear habitat and if refuse were disposed of properly. Regardless, quality of hunting is reduced when hunters are displaced from logged areas and crowd into more esthetically pleasing areas. Careful logging probably has fewer detrimental effects on bears than on fish, eagles and deer, but roads associated with most logging operations on Admiralty would destroy habitat, increase bear/people conflicts, and would lead to more hunting and/or restrictions on use.
Increased recreational use of Admiralty would almost certainly mean increased bear/recreationist encounters. Conflicts could be reduced somewhat by proper location of campsites, adequate disposal of garbage and routing of trails to avoid concentrations of bears. Seasonal closure of some areas to general recreation use should be considered. Education regarding habits of bears and recommended actions during encounters is essential, but carrying of firearms might be required under certain circumstances. Presently, most confrontations with bears are by local people who have met bears before or have been counseled properly as to how to react during an encounter. Increasing numbers of novice outdoorsmen concentrated by lodges and trails through otherwise inhospitable country would compound the problem; "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing," especially when applied to several hundred pounds of muscle, tooth and claw. Boat tours would reduce confrontation and are likely the best way for most people to visit the island under any circumstances.
Sitka Black-tailed Deer
Sitka black-tailed deer vary in abundance throughout most of Southeastern Alaska from Dixon Entrance north to Yakutat Bay. They are indigenous to the mainland and to islands of the Alexander Archipelago south of Lynn Canal and Icy Strait. Admiralty, Baronof and Chichagof Islands generally support more deer than any other area of Southeast. Examination of climatic records shows a strong indirect correlation between severity of winters and abundance of deer; weather appears to be the major factor controlling populations of deer in most areas. Deer on Admiralty and the other large northern islands appear to increase more rapidly from low levels than in other areas. Absence of wolves may, be a contributing factor (Draft Alaska Wildlife Management Plans for Southeastern Alaska).
Deer historically have been the most important big game animal providing meat in Southeast Alaska. Even today, as many hunters may take deer for food as for sport. This is especially true in smaller villages where harvest of deer may exceed "legal" take of licensed hunters by as much as five times. Deer are known to provide a substantial portion of red meat protein for residents of Angoon, Iloonah, Pelican, Tenakee and Kake. Harvest tickets issued in Angoon for 1975 permitted the taking of 232 deer, but estimates of actual kill during that harsh winter are about 1,000. It is unlikely that even this harvest had significant adverse effects on the population beyond those anticipated from natural factors.
Regionally, the "ABC" Islands contributed about K5 percent of the recorded harvest in Southeast and about 65 percent of the harvest statewide. Admiralty provided the largest portion of the kill, followed by Chichagof and Baronof. Most urban hunters using Admiralty are from .Juneau, Petersburg and Wrangell. The total number of hunters in the filed throughout all of Southeast has remained very close to 6,000 over the last 15 years (Johnson, 1976b).
Utilization of available food caus-es (leer to be dependent upon different habitats in different seasons. Low-growinlg forbs are the most important plants used (luring most of the year. They are particularly abundant in alpine areas during s uinmer, and are utilized during winter as long as they are availble under the forest canopy. When forbs are covered by about 6 inches of snow, deer begin using woody plants, the mnost important of which is blueberry. Snow depth under timber exceeding 18 to 24 inches causes (leer to concentrate on open beaches utilizing dead beach grass, sedges and some kelp. These species will not maintain bas ic metabolism and mortality soon begins.
Clearcut loggJing probably has had more adverse impact onl habitat11 Of d1(er i Sth tleastern, Alaska than any other humnan fac-tor. O~jIigin iifrt can promluce Zrc "Uniounts of deer fOo)d during, initial -tg~s4>I' c~in hlt snow01 often appeairs- to cover this veg4etailti at rates- faster hi intilead make it unavailable to deer when needed mo1(st cr1itically. Ill addition,' it par that coniferous reg-rowth forms a lse aoyin13t20yaslih ad' ll
most species used ais food for lmnly (lecade-1
It is highly recommended that any eleaIrcuts on Admiralty be( of less thanl 40 acres and separated by l)ad buffer strips :furthermore, a twZI(wl t'rlnige)I ita least 14 mile width or up to 50J0 feet elevation should lie required to (r-e~ (r iii(:a winter habitat. Tlhis fringe of timber is necessary for cover ats Nvell as br lou during severe winters.; that may literally (lecinmtte Ioplahtionis oif d ier in ii years. The fringe must be as wide as necessary'N to remain wviIdtirin. Tota prhibition of clearcut logging would be even more desirable.
[The following summary materials regarding individual proposed wilderness areas in southeastern Alaska were submitted by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC). The more detailed working file reports have been retained in the committee files.]
Southeast Alasca Conservation Council, Inc.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-566942
Tebenkof Wilderness Area Proposal
Size 68,000 acres
Location: Central Kuiu Island, 45 miles southwest of Petersburg and 50 miles southeast of Sitka.
Tebenkof Bay is an extremely large bay off of Chatham Strait which contains a number of small bays within it. Many small islands.and
rocks stud the waters of this system of bays. The arms of Kuiu
Island that reach out into Tebenkof Bay are generally low and
gentle in topography.
Over 20 streams in the Tebenkof Bay area are good salmon producers.
Tebenkof Bay is considered to be the most important area for fish
and wildlife on Kuiu Island, One of the streams in the area,
Alecks Creek, is an outstanding sport fishing stream, with large
steelhead runs, as well as cutthroat and Dolly Varden. Four
species of salmon also run up the creek. Tebenkof Bay, with its
good salmon production, is important to and well used by commercial fishermen. There are abundant shellfish and some crabs in the bay
The area has a high black bear population, still controlled by mostly natural conditions. Some parts of the Tebenkof area are
used intensively by bear. Deer and wolves are also present.
Harbor seals and otter use the waters of the area. Tebenkof Bay
is a key waterfowl habitat area. Trumpeter swans make use of
Alecks Lake; some areas are used by seabirds and waterfowl for
nesting and molting in summer or early fall; and many birds
winter in the area. Bald eagles, grouse and great blue heron
are among the many bird species present..
Recreation potential is high because of the abundant shoreline,
many anchorages and hunting and fishing opportunities. The
setting is spectacular. At present, recreation consists almost entirely of hunting and fishing. There are several streams and
lakes which provide excellent sport fishing for both trout and salmon, and the bay is noted for king and coho salmon fishing.
In addi-tion to thie, the area has great potential for such activities as conoeing, kayaking, diving, camping and photography.
Forest Service Plans: A logging road now extends into the Bay of Pillars area, just north of Tebenkof Bay. Although further development will be delayed during completion of the Tongass Land Use
-Management Plan (scheduled for completion in December, 1978), it is known that the Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company would like to expand their operations on North Kuiu Island into this area.
Many conservationists in SoutheAst Alaska, including the Stikine Conservation Society in Wrangell, have proposed that the Tebenkof Wilderness Area include Bay of Pillars as well as the southwestern arm of Kuiu Island, south of Tebenkof Bay. The Forest Service has recieved written public comments in favor of protecting the aesthetic and recreational values of Tebenkof Bay from such diverse organizations as the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, the Petersburg and Stikine Conservation Societies, the Alaska Center for the Environment and Friends of the Earth.
Misty Fjords Wilderness Area Proposal
Size: 2.4 million acres
Location: The Misty Fjords area encompasses the southeri ;w t portion of the mainland in Alaska, plus some addition] island wilderness. It is approximately 25 miles east of Ketchikan.
The Misty Fjords area includes all the representative landforms of southeast Alaska. It varies from the 5,000 8,000 foot peaks and glaciers of the Coastal Range to the gentle lowland:, richly cloaked in deep green forests and colorful muskegs. It includes
wave-beaten rock and sand beaches and the quiet waterways of narrow fjords that cut deeply into the heart of the mountains. At its northern extreme it includes one of Southeast Alaska's few major rivers with headwaters in Canada, the Unuk River. On its south, it touches the US-Canadian border in Portland Canal. The Misty Fjords area straddles the highly scenic east Behm Canal, encompassing all of the watersheds draining into the east Behm Canal frow Revillagigedo Island. All plant and animal species common to Southeast Alaska are represented here.
The Misty Fjords area is a major producer of all five species of Pacific salmon and is especially important for king salmon. Of the 2,000 salmon streams in Southeast Alaska, fewer than 20 support king salmon. The misty fjords area thus includes about one fourth of all king salmon streams in Sout-heast Alaska: the Unuk, Chickamin, Wilson, Blossom and Keta Rivers. Dolly Varden char, cutthroat, rAnbow and steelhead trout abound in the streams and lakes. In the salt water are halibut, rock fish and red snapper. Crab are also easily caught in many parts of the area.
Misty Fjords includes all the wildlife species common to Southeast Alaska, plus animals, such as the moose (in the Unuk and Chickamin valleys), which rarely occur elsewhere in Southeast Alaska. The Revillagigedo Island side of Behm Canal is particularly populous with deer now. Mink, frequently seen throughout the area are still surprisingly unafraid of people. Hundreds of spotted harbor seals may be seen hauled out on rocks at low tide in many portions of the area. The great brown, or grizzly, bear abounds in the mainland, along with black bear, wolves and mountain goats. Birds that feed and nest in the Misty Fjords include ducks, geese, gulls, loons, shorebirds, grouse, ptarmigan, eagles, falcons, hawks and many songbirds.
Misty Fjords is a highly popular recreation area among Ketchikan residents, other Southeast Alaskans and many residents of the Pacific Northwest. There are several air charter companies in Ketchikan who make frequent flights to some of the otherwise inaccessible m untain lakes. Boaters i.ake use of the more accessible salt- and freshwater systems to view the spectacular clifflined fjords of Boca de Quadra, Smeaton Bay, Walker Cove, Rudyerd Bay and Hidden Inlet, and to enjoy the gentle beaches and estuarine flats. Hiking and beachcombing are particularly good in the southern portion of the area, between Foggy Bay and Cape Fox. Wildlife, scenery and solitude are high points of the Pearse Canal segment, along the southern boundary. River-running, fishing and hunting opportunities are well-known in the major river valleys, particularly the Unuk and Chickamin.
(5) scientific and historical values
In the Boca de Quadra area is found the northernmost stand of Pacific Silver Fir in the country. Four separate portions of the Boca de Quadra area are part of the Alaska Ecological reserve System, being sizeable enough to make Boca de Quadra the largest contributor to the Ecological Reserve System in Southeast Alaska, Of geological importance is a recent major lava flow and active mineral springs in the Blue Lake and River area of the upper Unuk.
Misty Fjords is riddled with items of historical import, including numerous abandonded Indian villages, petroglyphs and pictographs, and Indian stone fish traps (some as large as 100 feet in diameter). The southern portion of the area includes the site of Fort Tengass, established soon after the Alaska purchase and occupied by over 50 men in 1868. The same site was also the location of the major Indian village of Tongass, which still had 173 people in 1880. Many of the totem poles now on display (or replicated) in Ketchikan and Seattle came from the Misty Fjords area, most notably the abandoned villages of Cape Fox and Tongass.
Minerals: There is no substantial mineral activity in the Misty Fjords area except for the current molybdenum prospecting by the U.S. Borax company in the area between Boca de Quadra and Smeaton Bay. U.S. Borax has filed over 200 unpatented claims in this area in the last few years.
Forest Service Plans:
While the Walker Cove-Rudyerd Bay portion of Misty Fjords has been labeled "Scenic Area" and "Wilderness Study Area" by the Forest Service for several years, the Forest Service has no comprehensive plan for the unit as a whole.
There have been proposals for developments such as mines and hydroelectric dams in the Misty Fjords area. The most serious of these is the potential molybdenum mine between Boca de Quadra and Smeaton Bay. The Forest Service released a final environmental impact
statement in July, 1977 proposing to allow bulk sampling of the minerals there by the U.S. Borax Company, involving a constructed road, docking facilities, shelters and heavy machinery. The impact statement is likely to be contested with an administrative appeal from conservation groupscharging that it violates NEPA and Forest Service regulations. (The draft EIS was rated "Inadequate" by the Environmental Protection Agency.) Conservation groups believe that the bulk sampling as proposed (particularly the road) and an eventual mine may cause unnacceptable degredation of the fishery and other wilderness resources.
The hydroelectric dam considered several years ago for Misty Fjords would be constructed at Lake Grace, on Revillagigedo Island. Conservationsits in Alaska have opposed this project because more favorable alternative sites are available outside of Misty Fjords, because of concern for the fisheries and because Lake Grace is immediately across the Behm Canal from the spectacular and highly popular Walker Cove Rudyerd Bay area. Recently, the Ketchikan City Council voted to seek construction of one of the alternative dam proposals instead of the Lake Grace project.
Admiralty Island Wilderness Area Proposal
Size: 1,030,000 acres
Location: Nine miles south of Juneau, bordered on the west by Chatham Strait, on the north by Lynn Canal, on the cast by Stephens Passage and on the south by Frederick Sound.
Admiralty is 96 miles long and averages 25 miles in width. It is a diverse system of forest, muskeg, beach grasses, meadows, brush and alpine tundra, interspersed with numerous streams and lakes. Admiralty Island is the last large island in Southeast Alaska without any major logging or other commercial activity. Approximately 23,000 acres have been selected on the west side of the island bythe village of Angoon in accord with ANCSA. Limited habitation occurs elsewhere through special use permits administered by the Forest Service.
The potential production of the 67 classified salmon streams on Admiralty Island is estimated to be well over two million fish annually. The fishery resources of the island and nearby coastal waters are critical to the maintenance! of high populations of bears and eagles.
Admiralty Island has more resident bald eagles than in all the rest of the United States. There is an average-of over one eagle nest per mile of coastline. Some areas have over four nests per mile. A total of 893 nests has been recorded.
Admiralty Island is reputed worldwide to be one of the finest brown/ grizzly bear areas in Alaska. Over half of the bears harvested in Southeastern Alaska are taken from Admiralty. Survival of these bears is commonly accepted to depend upon preservation of large tracts of natural habitat. Lowlands around the island supply significant amounts of high density winter range for Sitka deer an'd numerous bays and tidal flats prouide.important feeding and resting areas for migrant waterfowl.
Bears, eagles and deer are not the only animals that enjoy the island's richness. Humpback whales are often seen around the island, spouting, diving, feeding, living their underwater lives that man can only guess at. Deer, river otter, beaver, mink, weasel and marten inhabit the island and its forests.
The island's proximity to Juneau and its famous wilderness values make it a central recreation attraction in Southeast Alaska. Hunters and fishermen come to Admiralty from all over the world. Boaters often float from Lake Alexander on the east, through a connected waterway of lakes and rivers, to an unparalleled estuarine ecosystem in M~itchel Bay, on the west. Many people enjoy boating around the island, stopping at its many bays and sloughs to camp, fish, view wildlife and practice photography.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service previously sold the prime timber on Admiralty Island to the Champion International Company under a 50-year timber contract, in callous disregard of the area's natural values. Luckily, the Champion International Company has
withrawn from the contract after- l6gal delays brought on by local and national conser-vationists. The Forest Service is now revising its plans for the area.
Yakutat Forelands Wilderness Proposal
Size: 300,000 acres
Location: On the Gulf of Alaska, 20 miles southeast of Yakutat, bordered on the west by the Dangerous River, on the north by the Brabazon Range/Deception Hills D-1 land unit, and on the east by the Doame River.
This proposal includes an exceptional sand beach with associated beach forests, estuaries and streams which parallel it. The area's width varies from to 4 miles, encompassing ecosystems which range from delta-estuarine lands, through muskegs and spruce-hemlockforests, to foothils and alpine tundra. Most of the area is low elevation foreland, and contrasts sharply with the 3,000 foot glaciated Brabazon Range which forms the northern boundary. The area shows vivid signs of its glacial history with numerous alpine lakes, waterfalls, cirques and hanging valleys. The Alsek River, the only major system to penetrate the Coastal Range between the Copper and Chilkat Rivers, is known for its rugged country, white water and spectacular scenery. Another major feature of the area, Dry Bay, is a gravelly outwash plain developed from the Alsek River.
The Yakutat Forelands encompasses 7 major salmon and sport fish-producing streaIm. Depending on the time of year and the area, sports fishermen can fish for steclhead, all 5 salmon species, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden char, northern pike and rainbow trout. Commercial fishing is the largest land use, with nuncerous fish camps and one processing plant utilizing the Alsek and East Alsek fisheries.
The Pike Lakes area is a glacial refugium, unaffected by the most recent glaciation, retaining a northern pike population not duplicated in Southeast Alaska, along with several plant species unique in the region.
At least 28 mammal species are known to inhabit the area, including the rare glacier bear (or blue bear), believed to be a black bear which underwent certain evolutionary changes during the last glaciation in Southeast Alaska 8- 10,000 years ago. The glacier bear is officially listed as "threatened." The Yakutat Forelands is the center of distribution for this rare and local organism.
Moose, brown and black bear, mountain goat, wolf, coyote and furbearers arc plentiful here. The Forelands is the primary moose habitat area in Southeast Alaska. Significant numbers of Stellar's sea lions and harbor seals inhabit the Alsek River, particularly during the salmon runs. It is reported that occassional whales enter the estuary of the Alsek. The Alsek River is an important migration corridor for many species of birds and mammals, the only such corridor for great distances in either direction.
Most of the trumpeter swan nesting in Southeast Alaska occurs in this area. Many thousands of snow geese and large numbers of whistling swans use the area for resting and staging. A flight path down the Alsek River is used by largu numbers of many other species, including sandhill cranes and short-eared owls. The area is the southernmost major nesting area for the scarce and local Aleutian tern, as
well as for various shorebird species. Waterbirds use the extensive system of beach fringe, estuary, slough and freshwater marshes that are interspersed with brush and heavily timbered patches and stringers throughout the entire Forelands.
After harsh winter in 1971 and 1972, the moose population has declined somewhat, but still offers hunters an excellent adventure. Bear hunting is also considered to be good. While the real potential of sport fishing in the Yakutat area has yet to be realized, it is expected to play an increasingly important role in the area's recreational use patterns. As access to the area increases, there will also be an increase in the number of general sightseers, photographers, hikers, backpackers and beachcombers.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service previously scheduled this area to produce timber through "independent" timber sales and the now-cancelled "Juneau Unit" 50-year timber sale. Presently they are developing revised plans for the area's future, scheduled to be completed late in 1978. The Forest Service has
allowed a contract to be let for construction of a bridge across the Dangerous River (a road now exists to the river from Yakutat), even though they deny intentions to construct a road on the opposite shore. No environmental impact statement was filed before the contract to build an automobile bridge to a roadless area was let.
West Chichagof-Yakobi Island Wilderness Area Proposal
Size: 405,000 acres
Location: West Chichagof-Yakobi Island is just south of Glacier Bay National Monument, about 50 miles north of Sitka, 100 miles west of Juneau. West Chichagof is the western third of Chichagof Island, connected by an 8 mile neck of land to the rest of the island. Yakobi Island lies north of West Chichagof Island, across Lisianski Strait.
The West Chichagof-Yakobi Island area contains a mixture of landforms and environs suggestive of a much greater geographic range than actually exists. In its entirety the area contains, in one geographically compact unit, nearly as broad a spectrum of natural ecosystems as can be found throughout all of Southeast Alaska. The west coast is a 65-mile stretch of rocky headlands, reef-protected inlets and myriads of offshore islets, directly exposed to the Pacific Ocean. Behind this ocean front is a 35-mile island passage of quieter, protected waters, connected by streams to a network of inland lakes. Going a bit further east, to the island's heart, there arises a 3,000-6,000 foot mountain range which presents evidence of recent, extensive glaciation. To the north and east are Stag Bay and Lisianski Strait and Inlet, representing fjordland. The southeast coast typifies much of the inner island archipelago of Southeast Alaska, with wide streams, moist soils and stands of big spruce and hemlock. This area also contains rich tidal flats.
The long rugged coastline with its many tide pools contains a wealth of invertebrate marine life. Sea mammals include porpoise, whales, seals, sea lions and otters. Land mammals on West Chichagof are brown bear, Sitka black-tailed deer, mink, marten, squirrel and river otter. The area may well prove to be a future brown bear refuge. Bald eagles, many songbirds, ravens, crows, gulls, shorebirds and ptarmigan are found. Geese, ducks and swans cross the area during migration and some nest or winter there.
West Chichagof-Yakobi contains a large number of salmon streams, where all five western species of salmon spawn. Cutthroat and rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char are plentiful in the lakes and streams.
The intricate network of coastal waters provides great opportunity and challenge for the boater, kayaker and canoeist. The high country attracts hikers, climbers and photographers. Opportunity exists everywhere for wildlife observation and photography, fishing and
West Chichagof p.2
hunting. Soaking in the hot springs is a well-remembered West Chi chagof experience.
Forest Service Plans: Mining is sometimes cited as a conflict in the area, even though no mining has taken place there since 1941. Mining ventures have not proven profitable in recent times on West Chichagof-Yakobi Island. Inspiration Development Company holds some active claims around Bohemia Basin on Yakobi Island and ar.~und Mirror Harbor, from which they hope to extract nickel. The deposits are poor grade and mineral extraction and concentration provide many severe environmental and economic hurdles to overcome. Inspiration's objective appears to be to insure their option to mine in the future. Wilderness designation would not forclose that option as long as their claims remain valid.
West Chichagof-Yakobi Island is within the Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company's 50-year timber contract area. In response to the Sitka Conservation Society's Wilderness proposal, the Forest Service, in 1971, agreed to defer timber harvest for a five-year study period. The draft environmental impact statement resulting from the study was issued in July, 1975. It listed five alternatives, from wilderness study to intensive development, but gave no preferences for any one alternative. The final EIS, released In February, 1976, proposed that a line be drawn down the middle of West ChichagofYakobi Island, with logging to occur on the eastern side and an undefined backcountry designation made for the western side. On June 1, 1976 Regional Forester John Sandor announced approval of the above proposal, with the exception of reserving 40,000 acres of outer islands and the Khaz Peninsula for Wilderness Study. Sandor's decision has been appealed by the Sierra Club and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council as arbitrary and capricious.
Stikine-Le Conte Wilderness.Area Proposal
Size: 305,000 acres
Location: On the mainland, 10 miles north of Wrangell.
John Muir called the Stikine River Valley "a Yosemite one hundred miles long,." This mighty, silt-laden river rushes through a spectacular glacier-carved valley with a speed greater than any other major river in North America. Above the lush riverside cottonwoods towers the Coastal Range, whose peaks rise to 9,000 feet above the mouth of the river. The proposed Wilderness Area extends north to include the cliff-lined fjord into which the Lc Conte glacier calves its enormous icebergs. This is the southernmost glacier to reach saltwater in North America. North of Le Conte Bay are the steep coastal, walls called the Horn Cliffs.
All five species of Pacific salmon migrate up the Stikine River on their way to spawning areas in Alaskan and Canadian waters. Rainbow,cutthroat, brook trout,
Dolly Varden and steelhead are also plentiful.
Estuarine ecosystems are among the most productive in the world. The Stikine
Flats is singularly important because here, at the mouth of this powerful river, is the largest estuarine/tideflat ecosystem in Southeast Alaska. Hundreds of thousands of waterfowl migrating along the Pacific flyway between the Arctic and all parts of the western hemisphere depend each year on the Stikine Flats for food, shelter and rest. For some, like the snow geese, this area is their only major stopping place in southeast Alaska. The Flats also support a moose population.
The area in general includes mountain goat, brown and black bear, deer, wolf, wolverine, otter, marten, mink, beaver and various smaller mammals. Birds include hawks, bald eagles, ducks, geese, swans and various song birds.
The Stikine River is highly popular among Wrangell residents, as it is just a 30 minute ride by small motorized boats or a couple hour paddle by nonmotorized boats from Wrangell to this proposed Wilderness. Wrangell residents depend on the Stikine River for high quality fishing, hunting and 15ther wilderness experiences. The Stikine-Le Conte area is also well-known all over the. country. Every year hundreds of tourists visit Le Conte Bay via chartered tour boat from Petersburg. Private and commercial float trips down the Stikine River are now a regular occurrence each summer.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service presently has no definite plans for management of this area.
Situk National Wild River Proposal
Size: 20,000 acres
Location: On the Gulf of Alaska, 8 miles east of Yakutat; bordered on the north by (and flowing out of) the Russel Fjord Wilderness Study Area.
The area is generally comprised of a stable, relatively slow flowing mainland river and stream system. It contains notable pool and riffle complexes which harbor significant fisheries populations. The river is surrounded by flat to gently sloping terrain. Also present is a diverse range of riparian vegetation which is important for terrestrial wildlife habitat.
The steelhead runs in the Situk River during the spring and fall are the finest in Alaska. The run of Dolly Varden is outstanding. The Situk River watershed contains all five species of Pacific salmon. Besides offering internationally famous river fishing, the lakes within this watershed provide exceptional angling for resident rainbow trout. The'Situk is, understandably, a significant contributor to the local commercial fisheries.
Bald eagle nesting sites are numerous along the entire length of the river. From Mountain Lake to Forest Highway #/10 is some of the best brown bear habitat in Alaska. The watershed also supports a sizable moose population, some of which have been trophy size.
The area currently contains two Forest Service recreational cabins which are quite accessible. The Situk River itself is especially attractive to fihermen because it is large and slow enough to permit float type fishing trips. There are also excellent opportunities for eagle and brown bear observation and photography.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service has no specific plan for this unit at present.
Proposed Glacier Bay National Park Addition:
Size: 109,000 acres
Location: On the Chilkat Peninsula, approximately 30 miles south of Hlaines and 40 miles northwest of Juneau, bordered on the east by Lynn Canal and on the west by Glacier Bay National MonUment.
The western border of the Endicott River watershed is formed by the Chilkat Range. The rugged Chilkats, reaching to over 4,000 feet in elevation, are broken at the head of the river by Endicott Cap, a strikingly gentle, broad pass which leads into drainages tributary to Adams Inlet, in Glacier Bay National Monument. The Endicott River flows from west to cast, bounded by mountainous arms that reach toward it from the north and south, until it spills into Lynn Canal, west of Berner's Bay. In neoglacial times, the Endicott was the only place where ice spilled over from Glacier Bay toward Lynn Canal.
(2) f ish
The Endicott River drainage is a major salmon stream on the east Chilkat Peninsula. The river is an important anadromous fish producer, with pink, rchum, and silver salmon dolly varden char and cutthroat trout.-The coho that spawn in this system contribute to the Juneau area saltwater sport and commercial fishery.
The valleys and streams of the Endicott River drainage provide habitat for moose, deer, mountain goat, brown and black bear. The Endicott River is also a key nesting and breeding area for waterfowl. At the rie's mouth is an excellent habitat for marine mammals. Wolves also inhabit the area. The low pass at the head of the Endicott is probably used as an animal migration route between the east and west side of the Chilkat Range.
The spectacular setting among the Chilkat Mountains, bordering on the waters of Lynn Canal, a deep, rugged fjord, gives the area high recreational value. The Endicott Valley provides access into the high country of the Chilkat Mountains for backpackers, climbers and hunters. The big game animals and waterfowl are hunted by Juneau, Haines and Skagway residents. There is good fishing in the Endicott River, and opportunity abounds for photography and bird and wildlife observation.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service has no specific plans for this area presently.
45-783 0 79 5
Duncan Canal Wilderness Area Proposal
Size: 120,000 acres
Location: Duncan Canal is the northward branch of salt water from Sumner Strait that separates the Lindenberg Peninsula from most of the rest of Kupreanof Island. The study area is located directly west and southwest of Petersburg, separate ed from the town by as little as 10 miles across the Lindenberg Peninsula.
The proposed study area includes the land surrounding the northern half of the canal from the ridge line to tidewater. The boundaries were set so that the river and creek systems that flow into the canal and the canal's rich tidal flats would receive maximum protcion.
(2) f ish
The Duncan Canal area is inhabited by all the Pacific salmon species exceptKing, along with Dolly Varden, cutthroat and rainbow trout. There are 29 streams alonR the canal north of the Castle Islands~ that are anadromous fishi streams. The salt chuck at the head of the canal and the Castle River are both among the 18 "quality fishing waters" designated in Southeast Alaska by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Duncan Canal is the most important shrimp producing grounds in Southeast Alaska and produces a considerable catch of Dungeness crab.
Duncan Canal is considered the second most important waterfowl area in Southeast Alaska. Tidal flats are extensive and provide an ideal resting area relatively free from disturbance and predators. The upper reaches of the canal and the salt chuck at its head contain extensive wetlands providing a considerable waterfowl breeding area.
Mammals in the Duncan Canal area include Sitka black-tailed deer, black bear, wolf, mink, land otter, martin, beaver and ermine. The entire beach fringe around 'Duncan Canal 'is important to deer as winter range. Marine mammals include the harbor porpoise and whales.
The extensive tide flats at the southwest end of the salt chuck is an outstanding place to observe deer, bear and otter. There are primitive Forest Service cabins at *the salt chuck and the mouth of the Castle River. There is excellent fishing for cuthroat, silver salmon, Dolly Varden and steelhead trout. The deer and waterfowl hunting is excellent.
Forest Service Plans: On July 2, 1976 the Forest Service released the final EIS for thi-e South Lindenberg Peninsula Unit Management Plan which proposes the harvest of the commercial timber on the Peninsula. The plan conflicts with 6800 acres of the Duncan Canal Wilderness Area proposal in the Mitchell Slough area, including a proposed log dump and camp one mile south of Mitchell ISlough. Before the fina.. EIS was released, the Furest Supervisor approve(: the environmental analysis report for the Tonka Mountain Timber Sale which was not discussed in t 'he final EIS but was the primary justification for doing the EIS. Despite the fact that public
sentiment in response to the draft EIS favored no logging within the SEACC proposal, the final EIS was a carbon copy of the draft. The SEACC appeal from the Supervisor's decision to proceed with the South Lindenberg Peninsula Plan is now at the Regional Forester's of fice.
Karta River Wilderness Area Proposal
Size:- 47,000 acres
Location: The Karta watershed is near the middle of Prince of Wales Island, about 40 miles west of Ketchikan.
(1) geography '
The Karta River flows from Salmon and Karta Lakes through low hills over a series of falls, rapids and pools to the tidal flats of Karta Bay. Karta and Salmon Lakes are situated at low elevations in glacier-carved mountain valleys, with views of the Klawock Mountains in the west. The spectacular granite pinnacles of the Klawock Mountains are some of the island's highest and most scenic.
Steep slopes of these miountins drop into Black Bear Lake, a cirque mountain lake included in the proposal. Melting snow from the peaks creates spectacualr waterfalls into the lake. The east side of the Karta river and lake system burned over 70 years ago. This area, now populated largely with red cedar, provides an opportunity to study and view the natural succession after a fire that is extremely rare in Southeast Alaska.
The Karta River is on 3 Alaska Department of Fish and Game priority lists: it is one of the best sport fishing areas in the former South Tonnass Forest; it is one of the 30 watersheds in Southeast Alaska that have been proposed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game since 1961 for management as "natural areas"; and it is one of the 18 "quality fishing waters" in Southeast Alaska proposed by the Sport Fish Division in 1972 for protection as undeveloped areas. Thousands of chum, coho, sockeye and pink salmon spawn in the Karta River drainage and the watershed abounds in Dolly Varden char and steelhead, rainbow, and cutthroat trout.
Big game species include blacktail deer, black bear and wolf. There is an abundance of fur bearers, including beaver, otter, marten, mink and weasel. Salmon Lake is a fall and spring use area for trumpeter swans. Some swans also winter there.
Sport fishing in Karta is outstanding and well-known in Southeast Alaska. Fishermen from all over the U.S., come to the Karta River for the trout fishing. The Forest Service has five primitive cabins in the Karta area, strategically located near the good fishing spots. Access is by float plane or Forest Service trail. Opportunities exist for hunting, photography, wildlife observation and hiking. A trail from Black Bear Lake gives access to the high country. Petroglyphs on the southern side of Karta Bay are another attraction as well as another reason this area needs protection.
Mineral Resources: There has been no mining within the Karta River watershed since thedays of the Flagstaff gold mine between 1931 and 1941. All that remain, f thiis operation today are a few fallen buildings, some rusty rachinery a ie tailings. Prospecting since 1941 has produced only unpatented claims in nine areas of the Karta drainage.
ForeSt Service Plans: The Karta watershed is within the 50-year Ketchikan Pulp Company*timber sale contract area. The contract expires in the year 2006. The watersheds which surround the Karta drainage have been logged extensively as part of this contract. Forest Service planning is now underway for the Karta drainage.
* now Louisiana Pacific Ketchikan Division
V- 1- CSuhatAal onservation Cuci, Inc.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907586-94
-Etolin Island Wilderness Area Proposal
Size: 235,000 acres
Location: East of Prince of Wales Island, about 10 miles southwest of Wrangell.
Etolin Island is one of the few undeveloped islands remaining in
the Alexander Archipelago. The island is rich in landform and
geologic variability. Numerous bays, inlets and coves indent the
coasts of Etolin, with several long narrow inlets extending far
into the interior of the island, nearly bisecting it. The southeastern, northern and western parts of the island each have groups
or chains of mountains with peaks in the alpine zone. Several
dozen small lakes are found in the amphitheater-like alpine cirques, while other larger lakes are found throughout the island at varying
elevations. Numerous streams drain from these lake and mountain
systems to the various island waterways at tidewater.
There are 30 known anadromous salmonid streams on the island in
addition to numerous tributaries and small streams used by rearing
fry. Etolin Island 'harbors the richest concentration of salmon
spawning grounds of any of the islands in the Wrangell area. There
are many important estuarine areas on the island where Dungeness
crab and other shellfish are abundant.
Big game species include black bear, wolf and deer. MVink, porcupine, marten, otter and beaver are among the non-game species.
Eagle nests are common along the coastline. The grassy tidal flats
at the heads of -the bays and inlets are vital to many wildlife
species including small furbearing mammals and wolves, as well as
waterfowl and other birds.
The island is heavily used for wilderness recreation by Wrangell
residents. Cutthroat and rainbow trout, steelhead and Dolly
Varden provide sport fish opportunities in the numerous streams
and lakes. A potential exists for trail access- to the extensive
high country and highly scenic alpine areas of the island.
There are numerous fine anchorages around the island. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, beachcombing and photography are all
experiences provided by the Etolin Island wilderness. The Forest
Service system of' quantifying the wilderness quality of roadless areas has given Etolin Island a numerical rating that is higher than those of over 80% of the Forest Service's owin wilderness
7-study areas, nationwide.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Ser'vice permitted road construction and timber -utting in the Olive Covr area of Etolin Island without the completion of an EIS. This was the first road building on Etolin Island and fortunately is not extensive. Most of the itest of the Island remains untouched.
The Stikine area Forest Service office is now planning timber sales throughout the northern end of' the Island, despite the high wilderness rating Etolin has received and the roadless review now taking place.
. z .SoutheastAhasha Conservation Council, Inc.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-580-6942
'sEACO Dall Island Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size:. 160,000 acres
Location: Dall Island lies west of Prince of Wales Island in
southern southeast Alaska. It is approximately .60 miles southwest of Ketchikan.
Dall Island is a low, forested island of about 47 miles in length and 10 miles in its maximum width. The eastern shoreline contains
many bays and coves that provide safe boat harbors, whereas the
western shoreline is rugged and relatively dangerous for small
boats due to direct exposure to the Pacific Ocean swells. Dall Island offers about 100 miles of scenic wilderness coastline on
its western shore, characterized by 'rocky cliffs and sandy beaches,
exposed overlays of rock formations, craggy limestone and Tarble
Dall Island contains 66 salmon streams. Three are considered by the
Alaska Department of Fish and Game as "critical habitat of exceptional
value;" 21 are considered "critical habitat of high value;" 12
streams are"important fish habitat of high value;" 27 are
"important fish habitat.,, One eastside stream in Datzkoo Harbor has an estimated spawning area of 13 percent of the island total,
with a production potential of more than 25,000 fish. The Dall
Island fisheries includes chum, pink, coho and sockeye salmon,
Dolly Varden, crab, abalone and clams.
Dall Island is important habitat for many kinds of birds. The
peregrine falcon, ptarmigan and numerous non-game species maintain
breeding populations on the island. Seabirds are abundant along
the shores, including rhinocerous-billed auklets, murrelets,
cormorants and murres. Seabirds may use Tlevak and Kaigani Straits
east of Dall Island as important winter feeding areas. Mammals
on the island include Sitka blacktail deer, black bear, wolf, mink,
both land and sea otters, beaver and marten.
Wilderness beachcomb ng opportunities have aciot di: :1;.ercd in the continent-al United States, outside of Alaska. Dall Island's are among the most isolated -d1 pristine of any of southeast Alaska's coastlines that recieve the open ocean swells The gentle topography of th island allows access b, foot from the safe harbors of the eastern shore to the wve-beaten western coast. Thus, enjoyment of the islad's biderness beacheombing opportunities is part of a :reer wYle rss tXret that 6 ludes
the tranquil eastern shore and t: forested central mountain
1 -_ ca ....r~r~...." d l t on f
ridge. No part can bo de gre o dilution n of
the whole wilderness experience.
(5) history and archeologr
Dall Island contains many sites of historic and prehistoric significance, including: the ahadcned Exaia Indian village of Howkan which was one of the Haida's largest vilages at one time; Kaigani, another major abandoned Haida villas which served in the late 1700'. as the favorite port of rendezvous for traders and seamen at the end of each summer; the sites of several smaller abandoned Indian villages, including one which is reported to have had an Indian fort and which served as a favorite anchorage for trading ships from around the world; the site of a Northwest Trading Company post, established around 1883; and some reported petroglyph sites. Limestone caves on the northwestern tip of Dall Island produced the only known discovery of mummified Indian remains in Alaska.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service is gathering data in preparation for preparing a management plan for the island. No decisions or plans have been made to date.
6 outlieast LUaSIta Uoitservation UonlqInc.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-586.6942
Idaho Inlet-Mud Bay Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size, 100,000 acres
Location, Northern end of Chichagof Island, just 8 miles south
o Gl- ar-er Bay National Monument.
The proposed study area encompasses the watersheds tributary to Idaho Inet and Mud Bay. These two arms of salt water originate
in the South Passage of Icy Strait. Idaho Inlet is lon6w;!, Lktd
surrounded by much steeper terrain than Mud Bay. Lush river valleys, steep rocky terrain, 3,000-foot peaks rising out of
tidewater, alpine l.akes and expansive tidal flats are all part
of this magnificent area.
The Mud River-Otter Lake watershed serves as spawning and rearing
area for pink, coho, chum and sockeye salmon, Dolly Varden char
and cutthroat trout, The area is also known for its shellfish
The wildlife is abundant, particularly brown bear and waterfowl.
The waterfowl habitat is excellent. Goose, duck and shorebird use
is high. The tidal flats at the head of Idaho Inlet is an intensive spring use area for brown bear.
Spring and fall bear hunting and exceptionally fine waterfowl hunting and viewing is available in this area. The opportunity to
observe wildlife and explore the untouched river valleys and little
known high country is outstanding.
Forest Service Plans: A road is now being constructed to the Mud
Bay drainage from the south, as part of the Alaska Lumber and
Pulp Company's 1976-1981 operating plan. The Forest Service has
said that the road will not be allowed to enter the proposed
wilderness study area until December, 1978 (and then only.if the
current planning process determines that the area should not
become a wilderness study area). However, allowing road construetion to the border of the area could be construed as a decision
by the Forest Service to continue the road and harvest timber
within the area once the planning exercise is completed.
~ Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, Inc*
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-536-6942
SEACCKadake Creek Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size, 15,000 acres
Location: Northeast tip of Kuiu Island, about )40 miles west of Petersburg and 10 miles south of Kake (a small-Indian village).
*The Wilderness Study proposal encompasses Kadake Bay and the
broad scenic valley of Kadake Creek below the main forks.
The limestone-marble exposures which occur on both sides of
Kadake Creek add to the natural beauty of this area. The Bay
is a rich estuary, becoming almost entirely exposed at low tide.
Kadake Creek is one of the few outstanding cutthroat and'steelhead systems in the Tongass Forest. It is the largest stream on
Kuiu Island, and is one if the key salmonid producers in the area,
Kadake Bay is an important waterfowl and sea bird wintering area.
The bay vicinity is an area of black bear intensive use in
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Kadake
system is one of the 18 "quality fishing waters in Southeast
Alaska. Such an area is defined as "a watershed of outstanding
natural aesthetic beauty in a wilderness setting with fishing
characteristics that add up to an exceptional angling experience."
There is waterfowl hunting on the flats and deer hunting in the
lowland forest surrounding the creek.
Forest Service Plans: Several cutting units and a road are
proposed within the area as part of the Alaska Lumber and
Pulp Company 1976-1981 operating plan. So far, the road has
reached the lower Kadake Creek area, but no cutting has taken
place. SEACC has appealed the decision to log this area,
maintaining that thei few cutting units planned for the proposed
wilderness study area can easily be substituted elsewhere.
Souteas 1 11aha onrrvaionCouncil, Ic
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-586-6942
S EACG St. James Bay Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 32,000 acres
Location: The eastern side of the Chilkat Peninsula, about 25 miles northwest
of Juneau and 40 miles south of Haines.
The area is comprised of St. James Bay and associated islands and harbors, the
partially forested country immediately surrounding these waterways, and most
of the drainage system northwest of the bay. A good part of the area is tidal
flats and grassy meadows. The Chilkat mountains tower in the background.
There are five catalogued salmon streams which flow into the bay. One of these
streams is an excellent cutthroat trout stream. The area also supports a
large crab fishery.
Black bears, brown bears, mountain goats and moose are found in the area.
The low country is important as winter habitat for goat, moose, deer and other animals. The tidal flats, the most extensive in the north Tongass Forest, are
important feeding and resting grounds for migratory waterfowl.
The area is frequently used by Juneau boaters, hunters and fishermen. It offers excellent anchorages and provides access into high country of the Chilkat Mountains. Bear and waterfowl hunting is excellent. The fishing
is good, with salmon and cutthroat trout in abundance. The Bay is well
situated for primitive recreational opportunities.
The meadows, tidal flats, mountainous background, and the great variety of
islands, shorelines, bays, lagoons and cliffs create a scenic wilderness setting. Good opportunity exists for photography and bird and wildlife
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service has had timber sale
plans listed inits 5-year action plan since 1972 for the St.
James Bay area. Last year an EIS was filed proposing timber
harvest in several portions of' the Southern Chilkat Peninsula,
including St. James Bay. The State of' Alaska Departments of Fish & Game and Law have opposed logging on the eastern side
of the .Chilkat Peninsula and the federal Departments of Commerce and Interior expressed concerns regarding log dumps in St. James Bay and roads in general along the east side of the peninsula. SEACC filed an administrative appeal to the EIS, which now is before the Regional Forester. The Forest Service has decided to postpone any timber sale in this area until completion of the Tongass Land UL2 Management Plan, expec' ed in December, 1978.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-586-6942
SEA C Rocky Pass Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 72,000 acres
Location: The Rocky Pass area is formed by a narrow, intricate waterway
that separates Kupreanof Island from Kuiu Island. It is approximately 30
miles from Petersburg and 10 miles from the Native village of Kake.
The Rocky Pass shoreline bounds a narrow, rock-studded scenic channel.
The navigable waterway twists through numerous reefs, rock outcrops and
islands. The SEACC boundary follows the north and south ridges that border Rocky Pass and circles around Big John Bay at the north end of the waterway.
The whole natural system with its numerous bays, streams and tidalflats is
protected within the SEACC boundary.
The streams provide important habitat for pink, chum, coho and sockeye
salmon. In addition, cutthroat, steelhead and Dolly Varden provide sport
fishing in many of the streams.
The Rocky Pass area serves as a key resting and feeding area for waterfowl on
a major international migration route. It is also a nesting ground for
waterfowl including the Canada goose. The virgin forest along the shoreline
provides significant deer winter range for a lhrge deer population.
This passageway and the many bays and streams furnish the hunter, fisherman
and boater a high quality wilderness experience. It is a popular hunting and
fishing area for people all over Southeast Alaska.
Forest Service Plans: On September 14, 1976 the Forest Service released a
draft environmental impact statement for the proposed North Irish Creek timber
sale. The sale area encroaches on the northeast boundary of the SEACC proposal.
The Forest Service plan is to allow clearcutting and roads south from Hamilton
Creek into seven of the drainages that flow into Rocky Pass from the east.
Despite the fact that the Forest Service has known for'over a year that conflicts
exisL wiLh the particular road and clearcut layout proposed, no alternative
cutting areas to those located within the SEACC proposal are discussed in the draft EIS. There are also other areas nearby which have been advertised for
...sale but which the industry -won't bid on, cliia ngthat the 59tumpage price
is too high. The final EIS has not been released.
Pavlof Harbor Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 18,000 acres
Location: The Pavlof Harbor area is on the eastern side of Chichagof Island. It is located immediately northwest of the point of departure between Tenakee Inlet and Chatham Strait. Pavlof Harbor is a small sheltarcid area in the lower reaches of Freshwater Bay. The area is approximately 55 miles northeast of Sitka and 38 miles southwest of Juneau.
The Pavlof River watershed is almost circular due to a 2,000-foot peak in the very center of the area which divides the northwardf lowing main branch of the river from the two eastward-flowi Ing tributaries which begin very near the point of or7icj1!0"i't m0 rnn branch. The main branch of Pavlof River winds its way nurt-l, northeast and then southeast through low valleys of interspersed forest and muskeg, to eventually encircle the central mountain and join the remaining tributaries before flowing into Pavlof Lake and then immediately into the Harbor.
The Pavlof system is an important spawning and rearing area for coho and sockeye salmon, cutthroat trout and Dolly Vardcn char. The coho that spawn and rear here are early-run fish, believed to be unique in southeast Alaska. The area is also an important dungenesis crab producer.
Wildlife species found in the watershed include Sitka blacktail deer, river otter, brown bear, mink, pine marten and shrews. The deer are abundant. The small ponds along the Pavlof River are excellent habitat for migratory waterfowl. The beaver ponds and sloughs along the main stream provide habitat for numerous species of ducks as well as Great Northern and Canada geese.
The Pavlof Watershed is one of the most accessible lake systems on north Chichagof Island. There are no other areas offering the same primitive recreational opportunities in the nearby area. Recreation potential incluOdes lake fishing for char, angling for trout and salmon in the streams, and ti< iii saltwater off the mouth of the Harbor. There are areas quite suitable for camping near the lake and along the river. The lower 5-6 miles of river is an excellent canoe route.
Forest Service Plans: Since Pavlof Harbor was included in various proposals for protection, the Forest Service has proceeded to log along' Pavlof River. The original SEACO proposal was made in April, 1975. An EIS proposing to harvest the timber of this watershed under the Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company 1976-
1981 operating period for their 50-year contract was released in February, 1976. The EIS ignores SEACO' s proposal for the area and describes the environmental impacts only in a general way. While SEACO has filed an administrative appeal, the area has been partially logged along the River.
Sarkar Lakes Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 32,000 acres
-Location: West side-of Prince of Wales Island, 50 miles southwest
of Wrangell and 75 miles northwest of Ketchikan.
The area borders on narrow, rock-strewn El Capitan Passage on the west, and encompasses a forested area of relatively gentle topography, dotted with lakes. The saltwater Drotrudes into a number .of coves, inlets and a large saltwater lagoon, into which empties the area's intricate network of lakes and streams.
The area is rated among the top ten sport fishing systems in Southeast Alaska. Four species of salmon spawn in the area. Excellent steelhead runs and trout fishing are reported.
The Sarkar Lakes are probably the most important trumpeter swan wintering areas in Southeast Alaska, and the area is on an Alaska Department of Fish and Game list of key waterfowl habitat areas on Prince of Wales Island.
The interconnecting lakes and streams provide good canoeing opportunities throughout the area. The sport fishing here is outstanding, particularly for cutthroat trout and coho salmon.
Forest Service Plans: The Sarkar Lakes area is within the Louisiana Pacific Ketchikan 50-year timber sale area. Recent logging and road construction in connection with thiL contract has affected the southern part of the lower Sarkar Lake. The upper lakes are intact. No additional logging within the area is expected in the next five year (1979-1984) operating period.
45-783 0 79 6
Sweetwater Honker Divide Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 94,000 acres
Location: Northeast Prince of Wales Island, approximately 50 miles northwest
of Ketchikan, 40 miles southwest of Wrangell.
The area encompasses the Sweetwater Lake watershed and most of the Thiorne River system. Both of these are extensive watersheds of numerous interconnecting lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Sweetwater Lake is the second largest freshwater lake on Prince of Wales Island. It is fed by Logjam Creek and Hatchery Creek. Hatchery Creek flows through four major lakes before entering Sweetwater Lake. Thorne River
is the largest island river system in Southeast Alaska. Together the Hatchery Creek and Thorne River systems include over 4400 acres of standing water.
The Thorne River valley has the finest example and variety of glacial landforms in the Tongass Forest. This extremely wide valley is one of the few areas where
drumlins (morainal mounds) can be found. It is largely covered by unusually deep glacial deposits and has extensive areas of deep
muskegs that have formed over what 'were once ponds and lakes.
Thorne River is considered to have some of the best spawning habitat
in Southeast Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Came has ranked both Swectwater Lake and the Thorne River among the top four sport fishing areas in the southern part of the Tongass Forest. Fish hosted by the system include pink, chum, sockeye and coho salmon, dolly varden char, and cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead trout.
The Honker Divide is one of the most valuable and complex wildlife habitats on the southern Tongass Forest. Wildlife of the area include black bear, deer, wolf and numerous furbearers. The Thorne River area is unique in Southeast Alaska for its sizeable population of inland-nesting bald eagles. Sweetwater Lake is one of the few freshwater lakes to have large numbers of hair seals. Migratory waterfowl are abundant, and the Alaska Deprtment of Fish and Game lists the area as key waterfowl habitat. This is a major wintering area for trumpeter swan. Ospreys have been sighted in the area in the past.
Boating opportunities are excellent. Sweetwater Lake is a large
lake with interconnected streams and lagoons. .It has the potential for a variety of boating and will accommodate any size and type of boat that can gain access. One of the most attractive recreation
'features of the area is the potential for canoeing throughout the interconnecting lakes, streams and rivers. It is-also possible to
canoe through this area and across Prince of Wales Island to Sarkar Lakes on the other side. Viewing wildlife has considerable potential at the falls on Hatchery and Logjam Creeks where bears congregate to fish for spawning salmon. Eagles, mink, otter and an occasional wolf may also be seen along these streams. Sport fishing is also very good in the area. Red, silver, pink and dog salmon, dully varden char, and cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead trout are present.
Forest Service Plans: Permanent communities at Craig and Klawock, and logging camps at Thorne Bay, Coffman Cove and Naukati are all
near the Sweetwater Lake system. All of these areas are being connected by roads surrounding the proposed wilderness study area. The Alaska State ferry connection from Ketchikan to Hollis makes this road system accessible by auto, making it even more important that the Sweetwater-Ilonker Divide area have wilderness protection.
The northern portion of the area has been included in the 50-year timber sale to the Louisiana Pacific Ketchikan Division. Extensive logging and road bui lding have occurred from a spot just north of Lake Calea all the way into the Sweetwater Lake area. This activity proceeded in the summer of 1977, in callous disregard of pending legislation affecting the area. The Forest Service has repeatedly rejected the requests of Southeast Alaskans to postpone logging plans in this truly unique area until full study of its wilderness values has occurred.
The Forest Service has fil6d'anenvironinental impact statement proposing to sell.'timber; harvest-contracts for portions of the Thorne River area. An administrative appeal by the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, seeking protection of the area, was not even evaluated on its merits, but was rejected for being filed four days late.
Is Southcast Al&Aska Gonservation Council, Inc.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-586-6942 20-547-14
L Salmon Bay Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 21,000 acres
Location: Northeast corner of Prince of Wales Island, approximately
40 ilesT south-southwest of Petersburg and 40 miles west-southwest
The area consists of Salmon Baiy, which has numerous smaller bays
and inlets branching off of it as well as an extensi-ve area of
tidal flats and meadows, and the surrounding low-lying wooded area
with Salmon Lake in the center.
Four species of salmon are found in the area, as well as~one of
the few native rainbow trout populations in Southeast Alaska.
There are both spring and fall runs of steelhead in Salmon Bay
Creek. Dolly Varden are also present.
Deer, wolves and black bear live in the area. The Alaska Department
of Fish and Game rates the Salmon Bay tide flats and meadows as one of the most exceptional waterfowl areas in Southeast Alaska.
The Bay is used fall, winter and spring by trumpeter swans.
Substantial numbers of Canada geese winter and nest here.
Salmon-Bay Creek is on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game list
of 18 top quality sport fishing streams in the South Tongass.
Salmon Bay Lake is a scenic lake which provides good fishing.
Deer hunting is very good in the area. There is also opportunity
in the area for camping, hiking, photography and wildlife observat ion.
Forest Service Plans: The Forest Service has no definite plans
for this area at this time.
Southeast Alasha Conservation Council, Inc.
JUNEAU, ALASKA 99803 907-586-6942
SE AC North Kruzof Wilderness Study Area Proposal
Size: 14,000 acres
Location: North Tip of Kr'uzof Island, 25 miles northwest of
Sitka, just south of Chichagof Island.
There are two major bays and a cove in the area. The remainder of
the coastline faces open ocean with numerous small islands and
rocks offshore. Sea Lion Cove has sand beaches of a type not
found elsewhere in Southeast Alaska south of Yakutat. The land rises steeply from the shoreline except for large tidal meadows at the heads of the bays. There are a couple of small lakes in
Dungeness crabs are plentiful and a good run of salmon spawn in
the chuck at the head of Kalinin Bay. An excellent run of salmon
is supported by the chuck at the head of Sinitsin Cove, and during,
the seining season a buyer is usually anchored in the mouth of the bay to serve the boats fishing just outside. In addition
to salmon, herring, rockfish, Pacific cod arnd smelt are found in
All of Kruzof Island is a good deer area. There are some key deer wintering areas near Kalinin and Sinitsin Bays. Besides
deer there are brown bear, land otter mink, marten and ermine.
H-arbor seals and harbor porpoise inhabit the area's waters.
An abundant variety of birds live in the area. including bald eagle, raven, kingfisher, great blue heron, downy woodpecker,
waterfowl including Vancouver Canada and snow geese, gulls and
Excellent sport and subsistence hunting is possible throughout the
area. Grayling have been planted in Surprise Lake, making some
good lake fishing. Sea Lion Cove's expanse of' pale sand, fronting the o~5en ocean and backed by a stand'of open timber, offers recreation for campers, hikers, backpackers and hunters, to mention only
a few. Kalinin Bay, the only Good anchorage for small craft in the immediate area, accommodates as many as 50 or 60 boats each
night during the fishing season. Herring school in the bay during the greater part of the summer, providing bait for the fishermen and food for salmon and hundreds of bald eagles. Open muskegs and moderate terrain above the bay provide pleasant hiking and snowshoeing or cross country skiing.
The'presence of petroglyphs in both bays make them important
Forest Service Plans: The North Kruzof area is being considered for harvest during the Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company's 19811986 operating plan. No comnmittment will be made until the Tongass Land Use Mangement Plan is completed (scheduled for December, 1978).
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of prey, including sipnificaril, numbers of lq ild eagles, utility, c the arca. Furbeareis and predators sulzh as weasel, marten, mink-, beaver, wolverine, and wolves are also found.
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Indicated there will be no job I.. within the timber I Wis try If the Wilderness proposals are enacted into law by the rvl% Congress. Protecting this forested areas will also not affect
Tongass the nation's supply of lumber since most of the wood
from the Tongess is exported to Japan. TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST WILDERNESS AND WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS Statements regarding the mineral resources of these areas
are misleading and not conclusive. The high costs of deLOCATION: veloprment activities in Southeast Alaska plus the inaccressibillty to markets make proposals for the mining of anySoutheast Alaska thing but high grade, competitively sized deposits speculative ventures, at best. There is little evidence that
Rainfores ecosystem in a string of mountains forming the protected "inland passage" of the Alexander Archipelago.
Noted for the fjords deeply indenting the Coast Range of mountains which form the boundary with Canada to the
1. 2.0,000 miles of tidal shoreline, roughly 60% of the to- m
tal Alaskan coast, support harbor seals, stel-V
ler sea lions, se otters and many species of whales and
2. The extensive tidal flat& host millions of migratory waterfowi each year. Newrly the entire world population of Vancouver Canada geese breed and remain all year.
3. The 5630 miles of salmon spawning streams provide one of the most significant fisheries resources on the continent. All 5 species of Pacific salmon use these waters.
4. Wildlife species common to the Tongass National Fo-lt
rest include species that are endangered or threatened elsewhere in the U.S.: timber wolf, bald agle, pine marten, brown bear, wolverine, trumpeter swan, and the rare glacier bear.
5. The lush, rain forest habitat Is the resource which makes the others possible. The trees of the virgin forest can be in excess of 200 feet tall, 14 feet in diameter and
800 years in age.
Protection of the finest wilderness in the Tongass National Forest has been overlooked for too long. While the Tongass is the largest most pristine National Forest in the U.S., it has 0 acres of designated Wilderness. However, logging and related development activities have already
impacted nearly 3 million acres.
It is appropriate that the Congress is considering Tongass Wilderness proposals as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands legislation. The areas proposed are unique in
North America and have unquestionable "national inter- Soujtheast Alaska, including the areas proposed for Wilderest" values. For example, Admiralty Island is home to the ness, contains these kind of superior deposits. Despite all highest density of brown bears in Alaska and the greatest the recent publicity given the molybdenum claims on the concentration of nesting bald eagles in the world; the Ya- mainland east of Ketchikan, no firm data has been providkutat area is one of the highest salmon producers in Alas- ed on the quality or the quantity of the find.
ka; Misty Fjord's deep forded inlets with spectacular
granite cliffs rising 2,00 to 3AW0 feet out of the sea are ALASKA COALITION RECOMMENDS:
one of the scenic climaxes in the world; the outer coastal
island complex of West Chichagof-Yakobi Island is & Congressional Wilderness designation of Admiralty Island,
prime area in southeast Alaska for whales, sea otter and West Chichagof-Yakobi Island, Yakutat, Stikine-Leconte, sea lion. Endicott River, and the Misty Fjords and Congressional
Wilderness Study designation of Tebenkof Bay, Duncan Forest Service testimony before the subcommittee in Juy Canal, Karta River, and Etolin Island.
Southeastern Alaska; nine miles south of Juneau.
Forming the head of the Alexander Archipelago, Admiralty Island is 96 miles long and an average of 25 miles Top*
wide; the island system embraces forest, muskeg, beach grasses, meadows, brush, and alpine tundra, interspersed
with numerous streams and lakes.
1. 67 classified salmon streams produce over 2 million fish annually which are important to fishing industry and critical to maintaining large resident bear and eagle populations.
2. There are more bald eagles on Admiralty than in all the rest of the U.S., averaging over one nest per mile of coastline; a total of 893 nests has been recorded.
3. Reputed worldwide to be one of the finest brown/grizzly bear populations in Alaska; survival of healthy populations is generally agreed to depend on preservation of
large tracts of natural habitat.
4. Productive fish and wildlife areas support the continuing subsistence economy of Angoon, a Tlingit Indian village on the west coast of the island.
5. Other wildlife values include Sitka deer, migrant waterfowl, and small furbearers on the island; humpback
whales frequent coastal lagoons.
6. The island's famous wilderness and wildlife values have attracted fishermen, hunters, and boaters from all the world; easily accessible from Juneau, its network of inland waterways, coastal bays, and wild forests provide diverse recreational opportunities.
a 60 year contract of Champion Paper. The company CONSIDERATIONS: withdrew from the contract last year and now the Administration has proposed statutory wilderness for 700,000 as
1. Admiralty Island is the last large island in Southeast also contained in the Subcommittee Print.
Alaska without any major logging or commercial activity.
2. Approximately 23,000 acres have been selected on the
west side of the island by the village of Angoon in accord ALASKA COALITION RECOMMENDS:
3. The village of Angoon recommended a NPS Wilderness The value of Admiralty as an outstanding wildlife resource
Preserve for the entire island to protect the traditional is dependent upon preservation of the island's wilderness lifestyle of the village; HR 5605 incorporated character. It is the last large island to remain intact; theretheir recommendations. fore the entire island should be made Wilderness as pro4. Sealaska have made selections in the center of the is- posed In H R 39 and H R 5605, deleting the Mansfield Penland, the validity of which has been challenged; the USFS insula NRA proposal of the Subcommittee Print. Other is evaluating alternative sites appropriate for selection. proposals in Subcommittee Print incorporated from
5. Until recently, all the island's forests were included in HR 5605 should be retained.
WILDERNESS AREA PROPOSAL
The Misty Fjords area encompasses the southernmost portion of the mainland in Alaska. It is approximately 275
air-miles south of Juneau.
High peaks and glaciers of the Coast Range, gentle lowlands, thick forest lands, muskeg, wave-beaten rock, sand yk
beaches and narrow fjords comprise this wilderness pro- '' .41
1. The Misty Fjords area is a major producer of all five -4
species of Pacific salmon and is especially important for
king salmon. Of the 2,000 salmon streams in southeast q.
Alaska, fewer than 20 support king salmon. Misty Fjords (3
supports Y* of the Alaskan king salmon.
2. Dolly Varden char, cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead
trout abound in the streams and lakes. In the salt water 0
are halibut, rock fish and red snapper. Crab are also easily % 10
caught in many parts of the area. tp
3. Moose, which are rare in southeast Alaska, occur in the area as well as deer, mink, the great brown bear, and grizzly abound in the mainland, along with black bear, wolves
and mountain goats.
4. Birds that feed and nest in the Misty Fjords include ducks, geese, gulls, loons, shorebirds, grouse, ptarmigan,
eagles, falcons, hawks and many songbirds.
5. Some cliffs in the proposed Misty Fjords Wilderness jut 3,000 feet out of the ocean. The area has been compared
to the Sierra Nevada country.
6. Fjords snake their way back into the hemlock forests and saw-toothed mountains characteristic of the Misty
7. Lava flows and active mineral springs in the Blue Lake by the Council on Environmental Quality. The Council and River area of the upper Unuk are geologic landmarks. further suggested that other methods of access to the area 8. Ruins of Indian villages with Totem poles, petroglyphs be investigated, as the proposed road poses serious enviand pictographs, riddle the area. ronmental threats.
CONSIDERATIONS: ALASKA COALITION RECOMMENDS:
1. The Forest Service has no comprehensive plan for the Wilderness status should be given to the Misty Fjords area.
area as a whole, though the Walker Cove-Rudyerd Bay Potential Wildemess should be considered for areas
area has been labeled a "wilderness study area." affected by the possible molybdenum mine until it is
2. There have been proposals for mineral developments in determined if the area is feasible to develop.
the Misty Fjords area. The most serious of these is the potential molybdenum mine between Boca de Quadra and Smeaton Bay. The final Environmental Impact Statement, released in July 1977, which proposed to allow sampling of the minerals and construction of docking facilities, shelters, and a road, was considered inadequate
the belly of the mothercan be easily approached.
3. Tufted puffins are widespread, as well as other birds in LLF OF ALAIKAI numbers, Including murres, eagles, kittiwakes, hawks,
A7&~ shorebirds, and migrating waterfowl.
4. Squirrels, mink, deer, river otter, and black and brown bears frequent the beaches and meadows.
5. Five species of salmon spawn in the area; sea and rock bass and halibut are among the other fishes. St.*"is# MK& 6. Approximately two-thirds of the scenic ferry route beQ 7 tween Whittier and Valdez would be protected in the nor________________________________________thern portion of the proposal.
7. The area offers exceptional opportunities among the quiet island and inlets for the recreationist, kayaker, and sailboat enthusiast.
8. Camping and fishing are also popular and Increasing. since waters about Anchorage in Cook Inlet are heavily silted, with severe tides, and not suitable for any of these activities.
9. Animal observation is almost constant.
LOCATION: 1. The planning unit which encompasses the northern
portion of this proposal is being studied separately by the Chugach National Forest. Western and northwestern por- Forest Service without overall consideration of its values
tion of Prince William Sound, above the Gulf of Alaska. in relation to the rest of the Forest, or the nation as a
80 air-miles southeast of Anchorage. Includes the islands, whole.
bays, and fjords in the Nellie Juan, College Fjord, and Columbia Glacier area. 2. The southwestern portion of the proposal, except for
some of the fringing islands, is at present a Forest Service GEOGRAPHY: Wilderness Study Area.
Islands covered with alpine meadows and scattered spruce 3. With Valdez being the southern terminus of the Alyesforests rise from the clear waters of Prince William Sound ka pipeline, there will be much tanker traffic in eastern to several thousand feet. Fjords and narrow passages s-Prince William Sound. Wilderness protection, In addition parate islands from one another and from the adjacent to providing nondeveloped recreational uses, will help proheavily glaciated mainland, tact habitat important to commercial fisheries of Cordova
and Seward and to aquacultural projects such as the one RESOURCES: on nearby Evans Island.
1. Humpback, sperm, minke, and killer whales and por- The Alaska Coalition supports the Subcommittee Print a doapoises are seen here in numbers as frequently a anywhere signating NELLIE JUAN WILDERNESS. This Is a significant on earth. expansion of the Forest Service proposal and includes a far
2. Large pods of sea otters, often with the pup clinging to greater diversity of resources.
Stikine Le Conte
Varden and steelhead. All five species of Pacific salmon migrate up the Stikine River on their way to spawning areas in Alaskan and Canadian waters. '0 6. The Stikine River is highly popular among Wrangell
4P residents, as it is just a 30 minute ride by small motorized
boats or a couple hour paddle by nonmotorized boats from Wrangell to the area.
7. Wrangell residents depend on the Stikine River for high quality fishing, hunting and other wilderness experiences. 8. Private and commercial float trips down the Stikine River are now a regular occurrence each summer.
9. The river corridor is a spectacular recreation area. Glaciers and peaks rise from the water forming magnificent fjords.
On the mainland (southeast panhandle), 10 miles north of 1. The Forest Service presently has no definite plans for
Wrangell, approximately 150 air-miles south from Juneau. the area.
2. The Stikine is presently a popular fishing and recreaGEOGRAPHY: tion area for local residents. Motor boats are used for
access. Wilderness designation for the area would not preThe Stikine River rushes through a glacier-carved valley. clude these uses, as it allows for continuation of existing Coastal range, fjords, the Le Conte glacier. uses of motor boat and airplanes. The Stikine should be
given wilderness status to adequately protect this wildlife, RESOURCES: fish-rich and spectacularly beautiful area.
1. The Stikine Flats are singularly important because here, at the mouth of this powerful river, is the largest estuarine/tideflat ecosystem in southeast Alaska.
2. Hundreds of thousands of waterfowl migrating along the Pacific flyway between the Arctic and all parts of the western hemisphere depend each year on the Stikine Flats
for food, shelter and rest.
3. For some birds, like the snow geese, this area is their
only major stopping place in southeast Alaska.
4. The area in general supports mountain goat, moose, brown and black bear, deer, wolf, wolverine, otter, marten, mink, beaver and various smaller marnmals. Birds in- THE ALASKA COALITION SUPPORTS WILDERNESS clude hawks, bald eagles, ducks, geese, swans and various DESIGNATION FOR THE STIKINE-LE CONTE AREA AS
song birds. FOUND IN THE SUBCOMMITTEE PRINT.
5. Fish include rainbow, cutthroat, brook trout, Dolly
1. Wealth of invertebrate marine life.
2. Sea mammals include porpoise, whales, seals, and otters.
3. Land mammals on West Chicagof are brown bear, Sitka black-toiled deer, mink, martens, squirrel and river otter. 4. Area may prove to be future brown bear refuge. 5. Birdlife include Bald eagles, many songbirds, ravens, crows, gulls, shorebirds, and ptarmigmn. Geese, ducks, and swans cross the area during winter migration and some nest or winter there.
6. Large number of salmon streams where all 5 western species of salmon spawn. Cutthroat and rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char are plentiful in the lakes and 4) streams.
S ,7. The intricate network of coastal waters provides great opportunity and challenge for the boater, kayacker and canoeist. The highcountry attracts hikers, climbers, and photographers. Soaking in the hot springs is a well-remembered West Chicagof experience.
1. Mining is sometimes cited as a conflict in this area though no mining has taken place here since 1941. Mining ventures have not proven profitable in recent times on .-- .. .West Chicagof-Yakobi Island. Inspiration Development Company holds some active claims around Mirror Harbor, from which they hope to extract nickel. The deposits are poor grade and mineral extraction and concentration provide many severe environmental and economic hurdles. Inspiration's objective appears to be to insure their option LOCATION: to mine in the future. Wilderness designation would not
foreclose that option as long as their claims remain valid. West Chicagof-Yakobi Island is just south of Glacier Bay
National Monument about 50 miles north of Sitka, 100 2. West Chicagof-Yakobi Island is within the Alaska miles west of Juneau. West Chicagof is the western third Lumber and Pulp Company's 50 year timber contract of Chicagof Island, connected by an 8 mile neck of lend area. In 1971, the Forest Service agreed to defer timber to the rest of the island. Yakobi Island lies north of West harvest for a five year study period. An environmental Chicagof Island. Impact Statement, released in 1976, suggested that a line
be drawn down the middle of West Chicagof-Yakobi so GEOGRAPHY: that timbering would be limited to the eastern side and undefined backcountry designation made for the western The west coast is a 65 mile stretch of rocky headlands, side. The Coalition believes this Imaginary line is arbireef-protected inlets and muriads of offshore inlets, di- trary. Regional Forestor John Sandor's decision to accept
rectly exposed to the Pacific Ocean. Behind this ocean this plan has been appealed.
front is a 35 mile island passage of quieter, protected waters, connected by streams to a network of inland lakes.
East, in the island's heart, there arises a 3,000-6,000 foot mountain range which presents evidence of recent, extensive glaciation. To the north and east is fjordland with THE ALASKA COALITION SUPPORTS WILDERNESS DEwide streams and moist soils. SIGNATION FOR WEST CHICAGOF-YAKOBI.
The Forest Service previously scheduled this area to produce timber through "independent" timber sales and the now-cancelled "Juneau Unit" 50-year sale. Presently they are developing revised plans for the area's future, scheduled to be completed late in 1978. The Forest Service has allowed a contract to be let for construction of a bridge across the Dangerous River (a road now exists to the river from Yakutat), even though they deny intentions to construct a road on the opposite shore. No environmental impact statement was f ied before the contract to build an automobile bridge to a roadless area was let.
At hearings this summer, there was large support from LOCATION: local residents for wilderness designation for the Yakutat.
On the Gulf of Alaska, 20 miles southeast of Yakutat, ap- THE ALASKA COALITION SUPPORTS THE SUBCOMMITproximately 350 air-miles east of Anchorage. TEE PRINT.
Sand beaches with associated sand forests, estuaries,
streams, muskegs and spruce hemlock forests, lead to%)
foothills and alpine tundra.
1. The Yakutat Forelands encompasses 7 major salmon
and sport fish-producing streams. Depending on the time ~it19&~~
of year and the area, sports fishermen can fish for steelhead, all 5 salmon species, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden
char, northern pike and rainbow trout.
2. The Pike Lake.area is a glacial refugium, unaffected by the most recent glaciation retaining a northern pike population not duplicated in southeast Alaska, along with
several plant species unique in the region.
3. At least 28 mammal species are known to inhabit the area, including the rare glacier bear (or blue bear), off icially listed as a "threatened species."
4. Mcose, brown and black bear, mountain goat, wolf,
coyote and furbearers are plentiful.'JA
5. Significant numbers of Stellar's sea lions and harbor seals inhabit the Alsek River, particularly during the salmon runs.
6. The Alsek River is an important migration corridor for
many species of birds and mammals, the only such corri-
dor for great distances in either direction.
7. Most of the trumpter swan nesting In southeast Alaska occurs In this area. Many thousands of snow geese and
large numbers of whistling swans use the area for resting g
8. Sandhill cranes and short-eared owls use the area as a
flight path.I 4Q r
9. Waterbirds use the extensive system of beach fringe, estuary, slough and freshwater marshes that are Interspersed with brush and heavily timbered patches and
stringers throughout the entire Forelands.
W-ioaerness Area Proposal
Directly west and southwest of Petersberg; central Kupreanof Island.
This area includes the drainage tributary to the northern half of Duncan Canal.
These are generally low, forested hillsides interspersed with extensive muskeg.
1. The most important shrimp producing grounds in southeast Alaska. Also produces,
a considerable catch of Dungeness crab.
2. The second most important waterfowl area in southeast Alaska. Extensive tidal
flats and wetlands, plus an important salt chuck all contribute to this area's
3. Excellent fishing for cutthroat, silver salmon, Dolly Varden and steelhead trout.
4. Deer and waterfowl hunting is very good.
The Forest Service has plans to develop 6800 acres of the proposed Wilderness for
timber production. Public comments on the draft EIS for this project favored no
logging within the proposed Wilderness.
S. 1500 proposes Wilderness and Committee Print #2 of HR 39 proposes Wilderness Study
for Duncan Canal.
ALASKA COALITION RECOMMENDS:
WILDERNESS DESIGNATION FOR DUNCAN CANAL
Wilderness Area Proposal
Central Kuiu Island, 45 miles southwest of Petersberg and 50 mi lea southeast
Tebenkof Bay is an extremely large bay off of Chatham Straight which contains a number of small bays within it. Many small islands and rocks stud the waters of
this system of bays. The arms of Kuiu Island that reach out into Tebenkof Bay are
generally low and gentle in topography.
1. The most important fish and wildlife area on Kuiu Island. Popular among
commercial fishermen. The proposal includes the outstanding sport fishery of
2., Tebenkof Bay is a key waterfowl habitat area. Trumpter swans make use of
Alecks Lake; some areas are used by seabirds and waterfowl for nesting and
molting in summer or early fall; and many birds winter in the area.
Bald eagles, grouse and great blue heron are among the many bird species present.
3. Some parts of the Tebenkof area are used intensively by bear; the high black
bear population is still controlled by mostly natural conditions.
4. High recreational potential because of many anchorages and hunting and fishing
5. The area also has great potential for such activities as canoeing, kayaking,
diving, camping and photography.
The Forest Service has recieved written public coments in favor of protecting the
aesthetic and recreational values of Tebenkof Bay from such diverse organizations as
the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the Petersberg Vessel Owners Association, the
Petersburg and Stikine Conservation Societies, the Alaska Center for the Environment
and Friends of the Earth. Some have proposed expanding protection to include
Bay of Pillars, to the north, and the southwest arm of Kuiu Island, to the south.
S 1500 proposes Wilderness.
Committee Print #2 proposes Wilderness Study for Tebenkof.
THE ALASKA COALITION RECOMMENDS:
WILDERNESS DESIGNATION FOR TEBENKOF
45-783 0 79 7
Wilderness Area Proposal
East of Prince of Wales Island, about 10 miles southwest of Wrangell.
Etolin is one cf the few undeveloped islandr remaining in the Alexander I :chipelago.
Several mountain chains, many small mountain lakes plus large lower lakes, and
numerous stream systems exist throughout the island.
1. Etolin Island harbors the richest concentration of salmon spawning grounds of
any of the islands in the Wrangell area and important estuarine areas
which produce crab and other shellfish.
2. Big game species include black bear, wolf and deer. Mink, porcupine, marten,
otter and beaver are among the non-game species.
3. Eagle nests are common along the coastline.
4. The grassy tidal flats at the heads of the bays and inlets are vital to many
wildlife species including small furbearing mammals and wolves, as well as
waterfowl and other birds.
5. The island is heavily used for wilderness recreation by Wrangell residents.
Sport fishing, camping, hiking, beachcombing and photography are all
experiences provided by the Etolin Island Wilderness.
The Forest Service assigned a wilderness quality rating to the island which exceeded
those of over 80% of the Forest Services own wilderness study areas, nationwide.
The Forest Service is now studying the option of extensive timber sales throughout the northern end of the island. Some cutting has been permitted in Olive Cove,
without preparation of an EIS.
S 1500 proposes Wilderness and Committee Print #2 of HR 39 proposes Wilderness Study
for Etolin Island
THE ALASKA COALITION RECOMMENDS:
WILDERNESS DESIGNATION FOR ETOLIN ISLM'TD