The Tomanamus Forest is 104,999 acres owned by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (MIT) in King, Pierce, and Lewis counties. The property operates as a working, sustainable forest as well as providing educational, career, and recreational opportunities for Muckleshoot members.
Muckleshoot Federal Corporation is managed through a collaborative effort between Muckleshoot Tribal Council, Manulife Investment Management, MIT Wildlife, MIT Fisheries, and other MIT departments to meet property management objectives.
In 2023, the harvest level are forecasted at 34,290 thousand-board-feet (mbf), including 1,207 mbf from commercial thins. MFC will plant 1,321 acres with 486,768 seedlings, slash 197 acres, and pre-commercially thin 638 acres.
Assessments will be underway to evaluate a new location for this bridge. The current bridge has experienced erosion of the town side approach as the White River has reactivated a side channel.
Community Day took place at Medicine Eagle Flats with approximately 1,000+ participants from the Muckleshoot Tribal School, Muckleshoot Community and local natural resource related community partners. Tomanamus shirts and water bottles incorporated a logo designed for the event by a Muckleshoot artist.
MFC hosted approximately twenty-five field trips for Muckleshoot Tribal School. During the months of travel restriction due to COVID, outdoor hands-on activity kits for teachers K-12 were supported by MFC with forest products such as cedar and cottonwood buds. Approximately eleven on-campus outdoor lessons were hosted by MFC at Muckleshoot Tribal School at the pond, in the garden, the barn and in classrooms. Multiple Honorable Teachings Teacher Trainings were supported with an outdoor education focused Tomanamus Forest station.
MFC participated in hosting stations for Projected Based Learning Days, now Learning Together. Each month, a site was prepared with an activity suggestion and supporting resources for families. Forest products including cedar, Doug fir, white pine, nettle, cottonwood buds tree cookies, etc. were gathered and delivered to the school for teachers/ classrooms and families. MFC hosted almost twenty activities or field trips for other tribal departments and groups, such as Muckleshoot Tribal College, Muckleshoot Culture Department, Muckleshoot Early Learning Academy and others.
During the summer of 2022, twenty-three youth applied and started the job, with only a few dropping out early on. There were three crew leads overseeing three crews and two program supervisors. Activities included trail work which included new trail building and restoration or extension of existing trails, team building, professional development days, TEK, indigenous fitness, garden and habitat restoration, salmon fry relocation and special projects such as splitrail fence building at Medicine Eagle Flats. The crew had multiple field trips that included a mill tour, a logging site visit, an educational tour and blackberry/invasives removal service work at Billy Frank Jr. Wildlife Refuge, work with MIT Wildlife and USFS in elk foraging habitat to remove multiple invasives species, and more.
Approximately 3,600 understory plants were dispersed across the landscape in a number of planting units this past spring. The plants deployed included blue elderberry, evergreen huckleberry, ocean spray, salal, beaked hazelnut, nootka rose, and western service berry. In addition, over 30,000 Alaska yellow cedar were added to the planting program.
Currently, seven tribal members and/or community members are employed, performing tasks including traditional silviculture activities along with special projects, such as understory planting, seeding, Community Day setup-cleanup, etc. In cooperation with Pierce County fire district #26 they helped clear a fire break, protecting not only Tomanamus forest but the neighbors nearby in Greenwater.
At this point in time, seven tribal members and/or community members are currently employed and perform road work on Tomanamus, including road building, culvert installation, grading, and brushing.
In 2022, the final harvest is forecasted 26,228 thousand-board-feet (mbf), with 847 mbf from commercial thinning. This is lower in recent years to the high log prices requiring less trees to be harvested. MFC planted 1,328 acres with 519,806 seedlings, slashed 128 acres, and precommercial thinning 540 acres.
Efforts in 2022 were focused on maintaining existing trails with an emphasis on the Boise creek trail and Medicine Eagle flats trails to facilitate field trips.
Other MFC projects in 2022 included the installation of the Christmas tree at the Elder’s center and casino.