In Southeast Alaska, terrestrial restoration is often referred to as “wildlife restoration” and is most commonly practiced in areas with wildlife goals and objectives outside of the available and suitable timber base. This type of restoration work occurs in upland and beach fringe young growth stands. Historically in Southeast, forest management activities involved clearcut timber harvest. Harvested areas then grew back with a dense understory of even-aged trees. These dense young stands have little biodiversity, and produce little food or habitat for wildlife. Restoring the diversity, habitat, and food sources that the original old growth stand offered requires specialized thinning and other treatments.
There are approximately 150,000 acres of young growth stands in the Tongass National Forest (TNF), outside of the available and suitable timber base (TNF Young Growth). Not all of these acres need to be restored, but several thousand acres do need treatment. Unlike aquatic restoration needs, it is unclear where and how much terrestrial restoration work is needed. A young growth stand-level inventory would help clarify these needs. The Staney Creek Community Forest Report outlines how that collaborative group addressed terrestrial restoration on Prince of Wales Island.
Terrestrial restoration can create significant slash from harvested trees, especially in older young growth stands. Treating or removing this slash can be expensive. Developing markets for the treatment by-products, such as fuel for biomass heating, could help offset the costs of the treatment and reduce the slash created
Stewardship contracting is an option for combining terrestrial restoration service work with timber sales. In this type of contract, the receipts generated from the timber sale can be used to offset the costs of the restoration service work. This is referred to as exchanging “goods for services”.
There are several terrestrial restoration projects around Southeast Alaska on both private and TNF land. The Natural Resource Conservation Service has programs to help private landowners implement forest restoration treatments on their lands.
The Wilderness Society has released a report on forest restoration on the TNF. http://wilderness.org/sites/default/files/Tongass-forest-restoration-low-rez_0.pdf
Jerry Franklin and K. Norman Johnson outline elements of a forest restoration strategy to produce ecological and economic benefits on federal forests in Oregon and Washington. Some of this is relevant to the federal forest of Southeast Alaska as well. A Restoration Framework for Federal Forests in the Pacific Northwest.