Back to the Future: Forest Health and Sustainability

April 25-27, 2024, in Sitka, Alaska, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and a virtual option is available.

Mature Sitka spruce stand in Alaska
Photo credit Sheila Spores

The annual meeting agenda will feature general sessions, a field trip, and networking opportunities. General session presentations will include topics important to the health and sustainability of forests and ecosystems in southeast Alaska such as timber harvest and forest products; insects and disease conditions; continued warming and changing precipitation patterns and how changes are expected to amplify interactions among disturbance agents and alter forest ecosystem structure and function; collaborative efforts to use local wood products for affordable housing in Sitka; carbon credits; forest restoration, and more.

The field trip will visit a managed young-growth stand and recreational cabin constructed from thinned trees in the morning and in the afternoon feature a boat tour of the Sitka Sound area.

2024 AKSAF Annual Meeting Program | PDF

US Capitol Christmas Tree Forestry FAQs | Google Form

2024 AKSAF Annual Meeting Recordings | AKSAF YouTube 2024 Playlist

Online registration for in-person closes April 22.
Online registration for virtual closes April 24.

SAF-member: $165, Field trip $65
Non-SAF member: $215, Field trip $85
Student: $100, Field trip $25

(Registration includes the Friday night awards banquet. Choice of ribeye, local fish or vegetarian entree.)

SAF-member: $50
Non-SAF member: $70
Student: $40

Field trip only
SAF member: $65
Non-SAF member: $85
Student: $25

Banquet only: $55

Alaska’s forests have a lot to offer, from wildlife habitat to recreation uses to forest products. New opportunities in Alaska are developing all the time. This session will explore opportunities for accessible and sustainable approaches to wood utilization in Alaska. Topics will include learning about biochar, the new Alaska local-use lumber program, industry perspectives, and grant opportunities for wood utilization projects.

  • The awards banquet will be held at the Westmark Hotel. The featured speaker is Garry White from the Sitka Economic Development Association.

The field trip will visit a managed young growth stand and a recreational cabin constructed from thinned trees in the morning. This stop will view and discuss past silvicultural treatments and the Starrigavan recreational public use cabin.  The afternoon will feature a boat tour of the Sitka Sound area with opportunities to see wildlife while also getting a different perspective of the forested landscape surrounding Sitka. We will see young growth stands regenerated from past timber harvests during the pulp mill era and an opportunity to discuss current and emerging forest management and natural resource issues.

Morning: The field trip will visit a managed young growth stand in the Starrigavan valley and recreational cabin constructed from thinned trees.  There will be multiple stops that could involve walking up to a half mile.  We will meet in the front of Centennial Hall at 8:00 a.m. Transportation will be provided via bus or multi-passenger vehicles depending on the number of people attending.

Lunch: We will be back in town from the morning portion of the trip by 11:45 a.m. for lunch on your own in town from 11:45 to 12:45pm. 

Afternoon: This portion of the field trip features a boat tour of the Sitka Sound area including Katlian Bay and Nakwasina Bay and then heading towards Krestof Sound exiting out at Haward, towards Vitzkari & Low Island.  The tour will provide a perspective of Sitka from the water and an opportunity to see areas harvested during pulp mill era that are now 50 to 60-year-old young growth stands. We will have the opportunity to also see whales, sea lions, sea otters, brown bears and Sitka black-tailed deer. 

We will board the boat promptly at 1:00 Cresent Harbor which is right next to Centennial Hall.

The 2024 AKSAF Annual Meeting has been approved for 17.5 total Category 1 Continuing Education Units..

  • April 25 = 3 Cat 1
  • April 26 = 6.5 Cat 1
  • April 27 = 8 Cat 1

 For those attending in person, sign-in sheets will be available at the information table. For those attending virtually, a secret word will be shared at some point during the day. This secret word is confirmation of your attendance and will only be shared during the presentation, to be entered into the online survey.

We have a small block of rooms reserved at the Sitka Aspen for $159+tax. Guests can call the hotel at (907) 747-3477 to book reservations using the group code SOAFAK.


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