Optimizing Forest Resource Management and Small Scale Wood Manufacturing - A case study with Chief Isaac Inc. business arm of the Tr'ondëk Hwëchin First Nations, Yukon Territory
Traditionally, the forest management practice in the Dawson City area (YT) has been clear-cut management, in which all trees of a given area are harvested. As the local First Nation (the Tr'ondëk Hwëchin Nation) seek to become more involved in the management of the local resources, the opportunity has arisen to transition to an alternative approach known as continuous cover forestry. This system is more conducive to their non-economic values, including wildlife, biodiversity and overall sustainability. In order for a successful transition to alternative approaches, an in-depth study of the forest attributes such as species composition and growth rate is required, in order to simulate potential management schemes. Additionally, in the absence of large influxes of timber from clear cutting, the existing mill in Dawson City is in need of optimization in order to continue operating. With an alternative approach to the current system, coupled with an optimized sawmill, this project will involve the community members on many levels, including employment opportunities, and the fulfillment of cultural needs.