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Southeast Alaska Conservation Council


Dear Friends of Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, The social, political and economic environment of Southeast Alaska has changed since SEACC was founded in 1970. Therefore SEACC is changing too. But we will never lose our core identity as a vibrant grassroots organization deeply connected to the people and communities of Southeast Alaska. SEACC’s commitment to grassroots, community empowerment and strategic partnerships is why we have had such a successful year. Only through genuine conversations—listening and exchanging ideas—will we create a platform for moving Southeast from its old roots of industrial development to more balanced development that protects this world-class ecosystem and builds thoughtful prosperity in balance with nature. SEACC has a long legacy of being an underdog. From the Tongass Timber Reform Act and the pulp mill era, this relatively small non-profit has aimed high but built success from the ground up. It’s this attitude and culture that allows the current staff and board to think strategically and take the necessary steps to move our vision forward.

to roll up our sleeves and get our hands in the dirt. Meeting with mine regulators and showing them waste water treatment systems that don’t pass long term impacts onto the next generation; collecting wind energy data showing alternatives to our rural energy crisis; seeding a new sector of the economy that helps restore ecosystem health and stimulate economic opportunities in a rural villages: all these actions carve a way forward. Meanwhile, we can’t let our guard down. Key wild lands are still under threat by large timber sales, land privatization schemes, new and expanding mines, new roads, and megaenergy projects. The large-scale timber and development lobbies remain active, and parts of the government are resistant to change. SEACC is proud of our history, and we remain committed to our traditional watchdog role. When community input is disregarded or development proposals are not ecologically responsible, SEACC will lead the fight to defend the Tongass. Support from people like you is vital to helping ensure our success during this time of great change. Thank You!

In order to achieve our shared vision we must demonstrate its viability. This year we continue

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Lindsey Ketchel, Executive Director

In Southeast Alaska, families, jobs, and quality of life are closely tied to healthy populations of fish and wildlife, and pristine wild places. The regional conservation leader since 1970, SEACC seeks to protect wild places in Southeast Alaska and the Tongass National Forest—our planet’s largest ancient temperate rainforest—while fostering communities that thrive through sustainable use of our region’s resources. Together with allies, we are showing that the connections between people and places in Southeast Alaska—which in the past led to conflict—today lead to prosperity.

3 David Byrant

Yaku utat Yakutat


Small-scale wood products: Promoted small-scale mills and specialty wood product businesses through publications and SEACC’s website. Subsequent to our work with small wood businesses, the Forest Service awarded the first three micro-timber sales through a new program intended for Wrangell small mill operators, music and value-added wood product businesses using salvage dead, dying, or down timber.

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Hoonah: SEACC is working with Hoonah Indian Association to implement the Kennel Creek restoration project, including community capacity building, restoration jobs and habitat improvement.

SEACC: “Wilderness Partner of the Year”: SEACC received this Forest Service award for our Wilderness Stewardship activities. During 2012, SEACC made 3 Wilderness Stewardship trips with youth, Native Alaskans, volunteers, and agency staff to Stikine, Admiralty, and Chichagof Wilderness areas.

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Kake: Our Kake Wind Project documented outstanding wind energy potential. We helped the village garner assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to test wind and solar closer to town and develop a community energy plan.

Out in the Rain: Hundreds of Prince of Wales residents participated in nearly two dozen “Out in the Rain” outings in partnership with the Forest Service. These events get residents together to have fun in the forest and on the water, and gain appreciation for the natural landscape.

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Juneau Hoonah



Sitka Kake


Monitoring Taku River threats from Canadian mines: SEACC mobilized stakeholder support and garnered Alaskan monitoring funds for the cross-boundary Taku River. One of the top three most productive watersheds in Southeast Alaska, the Taku is threatened by large mine development proposed in BC headwaters.

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Greens Creek mine: Forced the State of Alaska to take a hard look for a better alternative and better monitoring as Greens Creek plans to expand for 30 to 50 more years.

Cascade Creek Hydro Project: SEACC helped gain the attention of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding community concerns about this project near Petersburg. FERC then denied the corporation a key permit, and cited SEACC in its justification.


Petersburg Wrangell

Wrangell: Built broad community support for the Wrangell Community Forest Plan, our alternative to a large-scale timber sale that would quickly liquidate remaining Wrangell Island old-growth forest.

10 Craig


Sealaska land privatization legislation: SEACC provided expert information for Congress. We traveled to DC twice, including a trip with four Native leaders to educate lawmakers about differences between tribes and Alaska Native corporations. Although the current Senate bill is improved, SEACC still opposes it because it does not provide enough balance between the needs of the corporation and small communities in Southeast Alaska.


SEACC empowered communities by co-creating and implementing Community Forest Plans, including projects advancing recreation, tourism, restoration, small mills, fishing, renewable energy, and support for protection of wild lands.

Tongass Transition and Sustainable Forests SEACC is working to solidify Forest Service Transition out of oldgrowth logging. We work with communities to create and implement on-the-ground projects which benefit local economies and build community support for the Forest Service to remain committed to Transition. SEACC supports small-scale mills and value-added wood businesses which use very small amounts of timber sustainably. They create high quality, value-added products, and help maintain healthy old-growth ecosystems while creating local jobs and enhancing economic vitality of Southeast Alaska communities. SEACC worked with small mill operators in Craig, Thorne Bay, Juneau, Ketchikan, Gustavus and Petersburg, and people adding value to local wood, including instrument makers and toy builders. We promoted their work and products in publications and on our website. SEACC is also building regional capacity for restoration work as part of the Transition. We contracted a Prince of Wales Island (POW) expert to survey small POW businesses about their needs and educate them about contracting tools to improve capacity to perform Forest Service restoration and forest stewardship work. We are now working with small businesses on a similar region-wide project, including looking at ways to eliminate significant barriers like bonding, access to capital, and training. This project stimulates community economies by fostering local restoration job contracts.

Wrangell Community Forest Plan

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SEACC is working with local government and small businesses to garner Forest Service adoption of a community alternative to the large ten-year timber sale that would quickly liquidate remaining old-growth forest on Wrangell Island. We built broad community support—from small mill operators, recreation and fishing guide operators, tribal members, hunters, fishermen, and

conservationists—for our Wrangell Community Forest Plan. We are collaborating with the community to develop a sale that meets Wrangell’s needs, including stewardship, sustainable timber for small local mills, tourism, recreation, restoration, energy alternatives, and protecting habitat. SEACC is also working with stakeholders, the local tribe, and municipal leaders on a Wrangell biofuels project.

Hoonah Restoration Partnership SEACC, Hoonah Indian Association, the Forest Service, and other partners are working together to restore Kennel Creek, southeast of Hoonah--an area that was heavily logged in past decades. The project will provide local jobs and job training, restore salmon streams, thin young-growth forest, and improve wildlife habitat. This project is funded by a federal Resource Advisory Committee grant requested by SEACC in 2011. Over 30 people attended our October 2012 workshop, including 8 contractors from Hoonah and nearby communities, tribal members, and the Forest Service.

Native Villages and Organizations SEACC is engaged with tribal communities and Native organizations on many issues including multigenerational forest health, traditional wild foods, sustainable energy, economic development, ecological resilience, mining proposals, and designation of additional protected areas on the Tongass which include tribal customary and traditional uses.


Southeast Alaska Energy Plan The State’s energy plan for the next 50 years in Southeast Alaska included our recommendations for energy efficiency, prioritized local renewable energy projects and dropped development of the Alaska–B.C. intertie. This reduces threats of mega-hydro development in Southeast Alaska. The only organization to publically oppose energy exports, SEACC will work to ensure this doesn’t get traction.

Village Energy After documenting class 5 (outstanding) winds in partnership with Kake, we helped the Organized Village of Kake garner a grant for National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) assistance. SEACC, NREL and community members are planning and executing feasibility studies for small hydro, wind, solar and biomass, as well as a community energy plan and week-long energy education fair. SEACC plans a similar project in Hoonah during 2013.

Electric Vehicle Training Sparks Interest

Sustainable, affordable solutions are vital for Southeast Alaska communities. SEACC is working with stakeholders to create a future where the region meets its energy needs through efficiency, conservation, local renewable resources, and progressive state policies.

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SEACC designed and sponsored a well-attended electric vehicle conversion workshop, co-hosted by the University of Alaska Southeast. The class increased interest in the Juneau utility’s experimental rates for electrical vehicle charging. Electric cars in hydro-supplied villages could reduce energy costs, and keep money circulating locally.

FERC Rejects Cascade Creek Hydro SEACC took an active role--alongside the City of Petersburg, the Forest Service, and others--in opposing the proposed Cascade Creek Hydro Project in Thomas Bay. The Federal Energy Regulatroy Commision (FERC) took the unusual step of denying the project a key permit and rejecting their license application due to community concerns, and cited SEACC’s comments prominently in their justification.


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Wilderness Stewardship Our Wilderness Stewardship program is building Southeast Alaskans’ support for Wilderness and improving agency Wilderness management and relationships with SEACC. We partnered with the Forest Service, community organizations, local businesses, and Southeast Alaskan volunteers to restore, monitor, and research Tongass Wilderness areas that SEACC helped establish. We made trips with Wrangell youth and parents up the Stikine, to Whitewater Bay with Angoon residents and Forest Service staff, and to Gambier Bay on Admiralty Island National Monument with Central Council Tlingit and Haida’s Environmental Youth Leadership Team. Stewardship included surveying for ecological health and solitude, and garbage and invasive plant clean-up.

Out in the Rain Prince of Wales residents enthusiastically participated in nearly two dozen of our “Out in the Rain” recreational outings—co-sponsored by the Forest Service—including snowshoeing; tours of big trees, mines, and karst/caves; boating; beach clean-up, and a marathon race. More than 600 people, including school kids, attended our very popular Whalefest & Beachcomber Fun Fair. Dedicated volunteers, boat skippers, artists, the City of Craig, the Quality Schools/Students program, and many others helped SEACC make this a successful event.


s tr o ng de fe ns e SEACC stood firm in 2012 against proposals threatening Tongass wild lands, including land privatization proposals, industrial-scale timber, a new highway in the Lynn Canal, and mega-energy export to BC mines.

Sealaska Land Privatization Legislation SEACC is at the forefront of efforts to modify Sealaska’s land legislation to address conservation and community concerns. Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Sealaska is entitled to up to 85,000 more acres of Tongass wild lands for development. SEACC provided key expert information for Congress, and traveled twice to DC. We made a trip with four Native leaders who educated lawmakers about differences between tribes and Alaska Native corporations. Our publication “Trading Away the Tongass” highlights 30 key wild lands parcels threatened by the bill. Subsequent to our advocacy, many biologically important and sacred lands were removed and protections for 150,000 acres were added to the current Senate legislation. SEACC still opposes the bill because it does not provide enough balance between the needs of the corporation and those of communities, between timber cutting and fisheries conservation, and between the corporation and tribes.

Roadless Rule: An Administrative Protection A court struck down the Roadless Rule Tongass exemption last year, leading to administrative protections for 2.3 million acres of Tongass roadless areas currently in development designations under the Tongass Land Management Plan. This year SEACC intervened as defendants against the State of Alaska’s renewed challenge for exemption of the Tongass from this rule.

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SEACC’s involvement is critical because our members can show direct harm from development. Administrative protection is wonderful, but only as strong as whatever administration is in power. In the long-run, these lands need full protection by law. SEACC must remain vigilant to protect Roadless areas from new mines and mega-energy development which are still allowed there.

Timber Sales We are working hard to ensure that roaded areas of the forest do not get hammered by large-scale timber sales and other damaging development projects. Old-growth logging has diminished. However, the Forest Service plans large old-growth timber sales that still threaten important wild watersheds. SEACC is working to stop log storage for the Tonka timber sale in an important crabbing area, the “Pothole� in Wrangell Narrows. The Forest Service rejected our alternative for the Tonka timber sale, near Petersburg, which would create sustainable, long-term jobs for small wood businesses in nearby communities and protect deer habitat. We are also working to change the large-scale Big Thorne timber sale on Prince of Wales Island, so it includes stewardship projects for recreation, restoration, and community-scale timber. This would maximize economic benefits to small operators and minimize ecological damage.

Clearcut in Logjam Timber Sale, Coffman Cove, Prince of Wales Island


With two operating mines and at least seven in exploratory phases and dozens proposed in British Columbia, SEACC strives to protect healthy salmon habitat and communities. Our work with tribes and communities advocates for best practices from developers and high standards of oversight by agencies.

Greens Creek Mine Expansion Near Juneau Located within Admiralty Island National Monument and near salmon streams, the mine is the second largest producer of toxic waste in Alaska. The mine applied for 2 permits—for huge tailings dump expansion and to destroy a salmon spawning stream and create a large toxic mixing zone in Hawk Inlet. SEACC successfully challenged the waste water permit—the first under a new regulation. We also challenged expansion of the tailings dump and identified an alternative that would avoid perpetual treatment. SEACC worked with the nearby Native village of Angoon—which uses the area for traditional subsistence—and the village corporation, both of which passed resolutions against mine expansion.

14 SEACC Annual Report 2012 John Jo hn Hy yd d de e

A-J Mine SEACC has a long history of involvement with the controversial A-J mine in downtown Juneau . The municipality is trying to re-open the mine. This would risk the municipal watershed, plus cause traffic and noise issues. We are working hard to make sure the interests of residents are given full consideration in an open public process.

Monitoring Transboundary Rivers SEACC mobilized stakeholder support and garnered Alaskan monitoring funds for the cross-boundary Taku River. The top three most productive watersheds in Southeast Alaska—Taku, Unuk and Stikine—are threatened by 21 large mine developments proposed in BC headwaters, some as large as the proposed Pebble Mine. Baseline data for these critical salmon watersheds is non-existent or old. We will work to garner similar funds for the Unuk and Stikine in the year ahead.

Yakutat Forelands Yakutat Tlingit Tribe (YTT) and SEACC seek protections for 337,000 acres of the Yakutat Forelands. After a mining corporation forfeited claims on the Forelands, there is an opportunity to protect the area via federal prohibition of new mineral claims and to enact stronger placer mining standards and guidelines for habitat and cultural protections. SEACC worked with Yakutat to build community consensus and support for protecting the Forelands, including a YTT resolution.

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statement of activities revenue foundations 38% other 3% membership 16% businesses 5% legacy 1% Alaska Conservation Foundation 37%


Revenue Membership Business Legacy Alaska Conservation Foundation Foundations Other (investments, merchandise, etc.)

$ 114,401 $ 37,552 $ 4,413


$ 713,808

$ 263,159 $ 274,500 $ 19,782

Expenses conservation programs 76% management & general support 20%

Conservation Programs $ 684,115 Management/General $ 179,947 Fundraising $ 39,870 Total

$ 903,932

fundraising 4%

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Fiscal Year 2011 (Mar. 2011 - Feb. 2012) audited by Altman Rogers & Co.

Our work is made possible through the generous support of many

strongheart foundations and businesses Alaska Conservation Foundation Alaska Wilderness League Bear Gulch Foundation Charlotte Martin Foundation George and Jane Mifflin Memorial Fund Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Helen C Frick Foundation HT Mead Foundation Inside Passages Kenney Brothers Foundation Leighty Foundation Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Society Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Mendicino Community Foundation

National Forest Foundation New-Land Foundation Norcross Wildlife Foundation Patagonia, Inc. Peradam Foundation Pew Charitable Trusts San Diego Community Foundation Sockeye Cycle True North Foundation Turner Foundation U.S. Forest Service Resource Advisory Committees Weeden Foundation Western Mining Action Network Wilburforce Foundation Yale Law School, Arthur Liman Public Interest Program


“A soul can spend a lifetime searching. Searching for reason, searching for purpose, searching for identity, searching for understanding, searching for comfort— all the while there has been one constant, enveloping our spirits, nourishing us and providing a place for our souls to search. The land. Haa Aani Aya. This is our land. Respect its power, respect its resources and respect the connection our souls have with it, for it is this land that shall embrace and protect our souls for eternity when our living spirits no longer grace its majesty.” --Koo Hook/Duk’tool, Howard Leif Gray 18 SEACC Annual Report 20 2012

SEACC’s most popular Facebook post from 2012 photo by David Bryant, Medvejie Lake

who we are SEACC’s success is possible because of people like you who take action with us. Together we work on behalf of Southeast Alaska’s wild places and communities. Thank you!

Sk S kip ip Gray ra ay SEACC STAFF



Lindsey Ketchel, Executive Director Katya Kirsch, Senior Associate Director Buck Lindekugel, Grassroots Attorney Bob Claus, Forest Program Director Jeremy Maxand, Community Organizer Daven Hafey, Community Organizer Guy Archibald, Clean Water Specialist Angel Drobnica, Energy Coordinator Dan Lesh, Communications Director Bri Bruchmann, Membership Director Doug Hanon, Finance Director Olivia Sinaiko, Legal Fellow Mark Heard, Accountant

Joanie McBeen (President), Tenakee Clay Frick (Vice President), Haines Clayton Jernigan (Secretary), Santa Fe Mike McKimens (Treasurer), Craig Marian Allen, Sitka Tina Brown, Juneau Ben Creasy, Juneau Eric Kocher, Haines Bart Koehler, Juneau Steve Lewis, Tenakee Victoria McDonald, Ketchikan Ray Sensmeier, Yakutat Stephen Todd, Wrangell Wayne Weihing, Ketchikan

Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Juneau Chichagof Conservation Council, Tenakee Friends of Berners Bay, Juneau Friends of Glacier Bay, Gustavus Juneau Alaska Youth for Environmental Action Juneau Audubon Society Lynn Canal Conservation, Haines Narrows Conservation Coalition, Petersburg Lisianksi Inlet Resource Council, Pelican Prince of Wales Conservation League, Craig Sitka Conservation Society Wrangell Resource Council


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Annual Report 2012  

A review of SEACC's accomplishments, finances, and focus in 2012.

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