Page 1

SPRING 2018

Ravencall


Executive Director

Maggie Rabb

Director of Development & Operations

Buck Lindekugel

Grassroots Attorney

Guy Archibald

Staff Scientist

Crystal Nelson

Tongass Forest Program Manager & Indigenous Engagement Lead

Sarah Davidson

Inside Passage Waters Program Manager

Bryn Fluharty

Communications & Online Coordinator

Thomasina Andersen

Office & Operations Manager

Heather Evoy

Indigenous Outreach Coordinator - Juneau

Irene Dundas

Indigenous Outreach Coordinator - Ketchikan

To protect the special places of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, promote conservation, and advocate for sustainability in human use of natural resources. Inspired by the land, wildlife, cultures, and communities of Southeast Alaska, SEACC strives to ensure this interconnected whole exists for future generations. Stephen Todd Zach Brown Eric Kocher Natalie Watson Bart Koehler Bob Schroeder Clay Frick Marian Allen Ray Sensmeier Steve Kallick Steve Lewis Victoria McDonald Wayne Weihing

CO N TACT

MISSION

Meredith Trainor

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

STA F F

In this issue:

5

6

9

11

MOVING THE NEEDLE A new future for the Tongass

SOUTHEAST SPOTLIGHTS Southeast voices

President, Wrangell Vice President, Gustavus Treasurer, Haines Secretary, Juneau Juneau Juneau Haines Sitka Yakutat Seattle Tenakee Springs

WORLD OF WATER Protecting Alaska’s clean water

Ketchikan

CONNECT WITH SEACC Find out how you can connect with and support SEACC

Ketchikan

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 224 Gold St. Juneau, AK 99801 (907) 586-6942 www.seacc.org The Ravencall is a publication of SEACC.

Editor: Bryn Fluharty Designer: Monica Sterchi-Lowman Cover Photo: Michele Cornelius

TONGASS IMPRINTS

Make your mark protecting the Tongass with our new app, Tongass Imprints (on the Water Reporter app). Sign up today to start sharing photos of your favorite places or experiences in Southeast Alaska. Your photos will be added to an interactive online map. We’ll also add them to SEACC’s photo archive (with credit given to you, as the photographer), to help us show the places we love and want to protect when we are talking to decision-makers. It just takes a minute to sign up and start sharing!

1. Download the Water Reporter app on your phone

2. Create an account

3. Join the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council group

4. Start sharing your photos! Check out the website: www.seacc.org/tongass_imprints

Check out our new SEACC designs and other gear at our online store! www.seacc.org/store


Executive Director’s Note Earlier this year, SEACC staff reviewed ‘Southeast

Alaskan economy, like our simmering statewide

by the Numbers,’ the annual report of Southeast

recession, which is rapidly peeling high-value

Conference,

regional,

government jobs off of Southeast Alaska’s tax

not-for-profit corporation that advances the

self-described

as

“a

base, or the decisive lack of vision on the part

collective interests of the people, communities,

of regional leaders who, much like Murkowski,

and businesses in Southeast Alaska.” Southeast

keep trying to force Southeast Alaska back into

Conference has a strong industry-driven, pro-

the old, outdated, resource-extractive economy

development bias, so their economic data is

of our past?

useful as an example of the sunniest possible outlook on the Southeast Alaskan economy with a heavy dose of “log the trees/build the mine/the

MEREDITH TRAINOR

road/etc” layered on top.

Executive Director

IT’S THE ECONOMICS, STUPID. In 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president against George H.W. Bush, campaign strategist James Carville made a list of three priorities for campaigners to focus on in their talking points. One of those talking points, “the Economy, Stupid” hung on a wall in their headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has been part of popular nomenclature ever since. “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” became short-hand for everything that was wrong with the country as it struggled to emerge from a recession under Bush’s leadership, and helped turn the tide to

firmly in my head these last few months as I accompanied our Tongass Forest program staff to DC to meet with lawmakers to talk Tongass, and to help defend our forest from Senator Murkowski’s

repeated

efforts

to

undermine

both the National Roadless Rule, which protects

well. Over the summer of 2017 we worked to protect Juneau’s mining ordinance from

When we took a close look at Southeast

proposed changes that would strip the majority

Conference’s numbers for the role that timber and

of its strength from the regulation. The mining

logging play in the Southeast Alaskan economy,

ordinance helps protect and require the City

we noticed something funny – "Timber" was

and Bureau of Juneau’s participation in a public

prominently listed in the same category as

decision-making process around when and where

“Social,” and “Info,” making it look like timber

new mines can be approved (and with what

and some related industries could be all of six

restrictions) in the urban parts of our community.

percent of the Southeast economy. We already

A small group of mining industry advocates have

knew that logging is an infinitely small part of

been advocating that the ordinance be stripped

our economy as compared to, say, government,

of its key components, all under the auspices of

which contributed 35.4% of Employment Related

recruiting a mining company to our region and

Earnings in 2016, tourism, which contributed

hypothetically adding jobs to the economy. But at

10.5% of Earnings in 2016, or the seafood

what cost?

industry, which adds 9.6% of the same. But what do “Social” and “Info” have to do with logging?

elect Clinton. “It’s the Economics, Stupid,” has been stuck

We’ve seen this lack of vision here in Juneau, where most of the SEACC staff is based, as

We live in and love Southeast Alaska for the rich quality of life that it affords, with its sweeping

The answer, it turns out, is nothing at all.

mountain vistas, deep, wild forests, sparkling

A closer look at Southeast Conference’s own

waters, and vibrant wildlife – the same wild

data shows that “Timber” in fact contributed

forests, sparkling waters, and wildlife that buoy

a miniscule .7% (that’s point-seven-percent!)

the seafood industry, and make Southeast Alaska

of

Related

the kind of place that future visitors dream of

Earnings to the Southeast Alaskan economy

seeing some day. Will our political leaders really

in 2016. The rest of the 6% being attributed to

insist on trading on those values so that logging

the “Timber etc.” category is actually the Social

and mining can grow?

Southeast

Alaska’s

Employment

roadless wildlands from logging, and the 2016

Now is the time for engaged political leadership

Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment,

What is most striking about

in Southeast Alaska, and the development of an

which governs how the Forest is managed. Both

Murkowski’s tunnel vision on the

economic vision that takes us forward, beyond

Senator Murkowski and the State of Alaska have sought to exempt Alaska from the Roadless Rule

Tongass is the extent to which the

for the seventeen years since it was established

economics simply don’t add up.

(and have been repeatedly rebuffed in the courts for just as long), but the present political dysfunction in DC and Senator Murkowski’s much-coveted vote and resultant horse trading have put our forest at risk to an extent that calls for a much more aggressive and engaged response than in recent memory. You can read more about our DC trip and the offices we met with on page 5, but what is most striking about Murkowski’s tunnel vision on the Tongass is the extent to which the economics simply don’t add up.

logging and mining, not backwards. The path forward is clear from here – leadership on more sustainable, locally beneficial forms of tourism, a resilient, carefully managed seafood industry, and support for the growth of sustainable local

Services

industry

(which

could

and

should

include regional employers like SEACC), and, in the “Info” category, publishing, broadcasting, and telecommunications – which has nothing at all to do with logging in Southeast Alaska.

businesses is our future. It’s time for people like Senator Murkowski and political leaders here in Southeast to get on board with that future, or risk being left behind. It’s the economics, stupid – time to do the math.

So why all this fuss over .7% of our economy when our political leaders in both Alaska and in DC could instead spend their time addressing the real problems undermining the Southeast

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS:

Kay McCarthy, Phillip Moser, Carly Dennis, Lizzie, James, and Anna Jurgeleit, Karla Hart, Luann McVey, Emily Ferry, John Sisk, Phil and Robin Bransford, Steve Kallick, Marlyn Twitchell, Kingeisti, Eagle/Thunderbird, Xéitl Hít, David G. Katzeek, Deborah Vogt, Carol Tuynman, Jim Stratton, Jordan Watson Bald Eagle Foundation. Cheryl McRoberts, Stefanie Jenkinson, Katelyn Dickerson, Sidney Campbell LCC Staff and Board. Eric Holle, Carol Tuynman, Heidi Robichaud, Scott Carey, Katya Kirsch, George Figdor, Cary Weishahn, Mario Benassi, Macky Cassidy, Stacie Evans

3 Ravencall Spring 2018


THE FOREST SERVICE: A NEW VISION FOR THE TONGASS? Tongass Forest Program Staff Timber no longer reigns on the Tongass.

finish line. As a result, the agency made a well-

communities, where there may be impediments

After targeting the biggest, most valuable and

informed decision on how best to utilize available

to joining a meeting “in town.”

easiest to reach trees in the Tongass National

forest resources to maximize local benefit – a win

Forest for nearly half a century, most of the

for all involved.

remaining timber stands are far removed from the road system, and much more expensive for loggers to access. Southeast Alaska’s high labor costs and distance from markets adds to these disadvantages such that today, timber represents less than one percent of all the jobs in Southeast Alaska, by earnings. In response to these constraints, this year the U.S. Forest Service began offering a more economic and sustainable sale with the Wrangell Island Project, a planned timber sale which was repeatedly scaled down until it turned into something that actually fits and serves the community it seeks to support. Projects like the Wrangell Island Project prove the Service can prioritize projects that work for our economy and environment over those that work for an aging industry out of synch with the needs and desires of Southeast Alaskans today.

The USFS Landscape Level Analysis process - an

diversity of stakeholders from the outset means

improved approach to integrated planning or risky

that recommendations get written by those who

business?

show up at meetings, and when those meetings

The Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis Project was proposed in an effort to “improve forest ecosystem health …

help support

community resiliency and provide economic development through an integrated approach to meet multiple resource objectives.” Instead, the Forest Service risks allowing a planning process that otherwise holds potential to turn into a timber-first

smorgasbord

that

contemplates

logging between 200 and 475 MMBF on Prince of Wales over the next 15 years. The Landscape Level Analysis process was originally intended to do a better job of doing landscape-level planning while integrating input from an advisory council of community members and stakeholders into the planning process. In

Wrangell Island Project

Outreach is an enormously important part of any public process – failing to engage a wide

Prince of Wales the agency received advice from

When the Forest Service first proposed the

an independently formed community group, the

Wrangell Island Project in 2009, it sought to

Prince of Wales Community Advisory Council

offer as much as an astronomical 150-200

(CAC), but did not do the necessary legwork to get

million-board feet (MMBF) over ten years.

out to all of the communities on Prince of Wales to

Fortunately for the Tongass, the math simply

invite them to the table before the process began,

did not add up. In 2017, after taking a hard look

or explain the extent to which the work of the CAC

at timber supply, economics, and associated

would inform the proposal the agency advances.

environmental impacts, and augmented in no

To have meaningful engagement in these kinds

small part by participation in the NEPA process

of processes, agencies like the Forest Service need

are held during the work day, the participants that are most likely to get to those meetings aren’t those living in remote, forested portions of places like Prince of Wales, away from urban centers – they are those that live “in town” and have a financial stake in decisions being made – often, representatives of extractive industries. As a result, at least one of the recommendations that is being contemplated by the Forest Service is way above what the island can sustain, if the people of Prince of Wales want to have any old growth or intact wild lands left to enjoy.This kind of process is problematic for the way that it engages and then underserves the people who do make it out to participate in groups like a Community Advisory Council, because it increases the likelihood that the carefully contemplated recommendations the Council makes will either be unable to be fulfilled due to resource limitations, or that the recommendations being made will be biased against those who were not able to be a party to the process – disproportionately hurting those who live in more remote communities or who are unavailable to participate due to subsistence or other priorities. At this time, the Forest Service is moving ahead with an environmental impact

by environmental groups, the City of

statement to analyze the potential

Wrangell, and community members,

implications of a series of alternatives

the Forest Service decided to meter out

for Prince of Wales, which means

a more sustainable, and much smaller,

community members and those who

5 - 7 MMBF to local value-added wood

did not have a voice in the earlier

manufacturers in Wrangell over the

process will still have the opportunity

next ten years.

to weigh in during the NEPA process –

This decision could be a watershed

so long as we continue to shield NEPA

moment for the Forest Service: it protects

old-growth

forests

from federal attack.

and

This spring, the Forest Service began

critical winter habitat for deer, while

a similar process on lands within

preserving motorized public access

the Wrangell and Petersburg Ranger

for recreation and subsistence uses.

Districts, by initiating the Central

It also illustrates the value of the

Tongass

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

process

disclosure

and

for

ensuring

evaluation

of

the

the agency makes a decision – one

Zarembo, and Etolin Islands. Cartoon by John Cox

of the reasons the NEPA process is

process guaranteed that the Forest Service made relevant information available to the public and decision-makers and allowed for informed public involvement – which is part of what ultimately helped take the Wrangell Island Project across the 4 Ravencall Spring 2018

Concerned citizens who want a say in the future of logging in these areas

so valuable to engaged community members and organizations like ours. That

Analysis

Mitkof, Kupreanof, Kuiu, Wrangell,

the

significant effects of a proposal before

Landscape Level

Project. The project area includes

need to get involved early if they hope to do extensive outreach beforehand, making a point of bringing conversations around land use into the communities that will be affected by future recommendations. This is particularly important in smaller and more remote Native

to engage in defense of their place, and to keep the Forest Service true to all the commitments it made in the 2016 TLMP Amendment. Contact Crystal@seacc.org to learn more about how to get involved.


Joan Kautzer, Joe Sebastian, and Karin Jettmar lobbying for the Tongass Bill in DC in 1987

THERE

IN SHOWING UP Meredith Trainor Earlier this year, the Tongass Forest team traveled

Lisa Murkowski would attach two Tongass-

to Washington DC to meet with legislators to talk

specific riders to the Interior Appropriations

about the Tongass. Our trip was long-planned:

package that the Senate Committee she chairs

in SEACC’s earlier years both members and staff

was putting together for the already-overdue

were a regular presence in the halls of Congress,

budget: the first targeted the popular and

advocating for better protections of the Tongass,

nation-wide Roadless Rule, which prevents new

against clearcuts, and on behalf of our Southeast

roads for logging from being added to roadless

Alaskan way of life. Because we have always been

wildlands; the second targeted the 2016 Tongass

a regional nonprofit and member supported,

Land Management Plan Amendment, the guiding

to save money the staff and Executive Director

document that the Forest Service uses to steward

would all share a single hotel room, piling in to

the Tongass National Forest, and one that Forest

try to get some kind of sleep and adjust to the

Service employees, community leaders, and

four-hour time difference before heading out

a wide variety of stakeholders worked for

to meetings on the Hill, to Senate hearings, and

years to develop. SEACC and both the Alaskan

other forms of engagement. Our staff sometimes

and national conservation community writ large

worked out of the offices of partner organizations

opposed and continue to oppose these changes,

stories

like Alaska Wilderness League, and I think I’ve

even as these two very serious attacks on the

and

even heard about a visit or two where SEACC

integrity of the Tongass continue to evolve as of

connections they

staffers slept on the floor of other organizations!

this writing.

need to be strong advocates for

This visit was modeled on those earlier trips,

Over the three days of meetings we did

individual

Meredith Trainor, Crystal Nelson, and Buck Lindekugel advocating for the Tongass in DC in 2018

the Tongass.

albeit with less cramming into hotel rooms and

in

seventeen

We look forward to returning to DC regularly,

sleeping on the floor of our partner organizations,

Congressional offices, as well as participating in

and to bringing community members from

like my predecessors did. Our intention for the

a hearing convened by our partners at the Alaska

throughout Southeast Alaska with us in the

visit was to reinvigorate our formerly strong

Wilderness League and the Wilderness Society.

years to come.

relationships with Congressional offices, and to

It was inspiring to speak with staffers in offices

maintain and enrich those relationships in the

of longtime Tongass advocates and public lands

months that follow. I’ve written before about

supporters like those of Maria Cantwell (D-WA),

the critical and irreplaceable role that regional

Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Nancy

organizations play in organizing the grassroots

Pelosi (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Chellie

and elevating strong voices from among their

Pingree (D-ME) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), among

ranks; we sought to reignite the relationships

many others, and it immediately became clear

we have with decision-makers in DC so that we

what a big difference it makes for those staffers

could ensure they hear from Southeast Alaskans

to hear from actual Southeast Alaskans. We were

directly, and so we can speak to our own visions,

able to share some of the persuasive economic

goals, and priorities for the Tongass.

arguments against a return to logging, and by

As it happened, in the month before our trip this year it became apparent that Alaskan Senator

DC,

we

visited

a

whopping

taking the time to show up, we gave the staffers we met with (and by extension, the Senators and Representatives they work for) the personal

Interested in helping us to defend the Tongass? Get in touch! We’ll be thinking about how best to continue to educate members of Congress about our lives and values in Southeast Alaska in the months to come, so letting us know you would be interested in helping to deliver this message helps us figure out who the best messengers are, since the people of Southeast Alaska will always be the best advocates for the place they call home.

TAKE ACTION

Tell the Alaska Delegation and Democratic leaders to PROTECT the Tongass. For more information visit www.seacc.org/protect_the_Tongass

TAKING US FOR A RIDE(R) In 1979, the Tongass was the first National Forest

The Roadless Rule has been under attack by

to complete a forest plan, which became law in

the State of Alaska since its adoption in 2001;

1990 under the Tongass Timber Reform Act. Over

the latest lawsuit was struck down in the

the years the plan was repeatedly fought over

District Court of D.C. in late 2017. Alaskan

and amended, and in 2013 the Tongass Advisory

Senator Lisa Murkowski immediately took up

Committee (TAC), a multi-stakeholder group, was

the attack, seeking to attach two “poison pill

formed to provide recommendations to the Forest

riders” to the omnibus spending bill for fiscal

Service on how to accelerate a transition to logging

year 2018. These riders aimed to throw out the

young-growth, resulting in the recent Tongass

2016 Tongass Land Management Plan (TLMP)

Land Management Plan Amendment, in 2016.

Amendment and exempt the Tongass and

5 Ravencall Spring 2018

Chugach National Forests from the Roadless Rule. In March of 2018 the spending bill was passed WITHOUT these riders, a big win for the Tongass, although we anticipate that they will continue to be attached to future bills, requiring ongoing vigilance.


Photo by Kendall Rock

: A NEW DAY When I began working as SEACC’s Tongass Program Manager and Indigenous Engagement Lead in September 2017, I was new to the Tongass conflict. It has been a difficult history for me to take in, the most difficult part being that the Native corporations of which I am a shareholder have long been seen—and still are often seen—as the “villains” in the Tongass timber wars.

core of my Native identity that comes from the

Compartmentalizing profit from the planet and

Raven Coho Clan from the Humpback Whale House

prioritizing it above all things is what got us into

in Dry Bay. When I put my toes in the sand at Dry

the current climate change mess, so if we are

Bay for the first time on a rare hot day in May 2010

going to change our regional economic system to

and looked back at the lands under the Mount

be less destructive, we all can and should play a

Saint Elias range where 10,000 plus years of my

role in integrating the social, environmental, and

mother’s-mother’s-mothers lived out their lives,

economic elements of Southeast Alaska’s economy

I had never felt more profoundly at home. Dry

into a sustainable vision for our shared future.

Bay will always be my true home—and no act of Congress or title of “public land” will ever change

As a Native person with a background in social justice and rural development work, I

that. Many Native people feel this way about their

often see much more nuance in the issues that

To a large degree, SEACC and the local

have historically alienated Native groups from

Alaska Native community share a common

conservationists, especially when it comes to

purpose: preserving and managing our

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)

The beauty of being a young Native person who is both new to the Tongass conflict, and who has spent the last decade studying sustainable economic development options for our villages is that it’s easy to see the opportunity for creative solutions. SEACC will always work to defend the Tongass from bad policies and work to counter

natural resources for the use and benefit

the Congressional obsession with the pulp mill

communities, and as a community developer I know

of current and future generations. As such,

days. But SEACC can also find more diversity and

that in order for Native communities to recover

it is interesting (and regrettable) that the

from the social and economic hardships we face in

relationship can be so strained.

corporations.

ANCSA

is

divisive

in

Native

the aftermath of colonization, we need to maintain

economic causes of environmental threats, and addressing them at their root. For example: what

good relationships with each other—otherwise

ancestral homelands regardless of where they live

infighting can keep us from making progress.

today, and this can affect the way we think about

Personally, and professionally, I cannot contribute

public lands, and engage in conservation.

to that divisiveness. So at SEACC, we have discussed

inclusion in its work by focusing on the social and

if, instead of conservationists opposing any and all ANCSA land legislation, we actively seek ways to support these communities as they explore alternatives to logging? That way we work together

Right now, everything is in transition: the

to protect the Tongass for future generations,

regional economy, the Tongass fight—even Native

and support our regional neighbors in their need

corporations. The pulp mill days have come and

to make a living. To me, this solutions focus is a

gone. Timber is no longer king in Southeast. Native

community development and advocacy sweet spot

corporations have new leadership, and some new

where we can find economic, social justice, and

business models. For instance, Sealaska Corporation

environmental wins. These are the opportunities

has put 160,000 of its 360,000 acres into a carbon

I am most excited to continue to develop as

To a large degree, SEACC and the local Alaska Native

project that protects those lands for 120 years, and

SEACC’s new Tongass Forest Program Manager &

community share a common purpose: preserving

is actively looking at whether to put more lands

Indigenous Engagement Lead.

and managing our natural resources for the use

into similar projects. They are also

and benefit of current and future generations. As

reaching out to all other Native

such, it is interesting (and regrettable) that the

corporations

relationship can be so strained. Traditionally,

representatives of the “Landless”

conservationists

land

communities not originally given

legislation that would “take lands out of public

land under ANCSA—to see if they

hands” and convey them to Native corporations,

are interested in doing carbon

constituting a “land giveaway.” But from many

projects as well. I like to think

Native perspectives, such a conveyance is not a

that we as an organization and

giveaway, it’s a return of something that makes

as

us who we are—even if the land ended up in an

transition.

ways

to

both

honor

SEACC’s

environmental

advocacy role, and also increase our indigenous engagement. The question now becomes: how can conservationists improve relationships with all of those in Native communities—not just Natives who are already environmentalists?

have

opposed

ANCSA

imperfect for-profit vehicle that raises questions of sustainability. That’s an issue for us to work out as Native people.

in

Southeast—and

environmentalists

can

Crystal and son Jude in Juneau

also

More and more, society is asking businesses to be focused on the triple

bottom

line

of

people,

Just because Congress took away 100% of our

planet, and profit, and I believe it

lands, and gave us less than 2% of it back, it

makes sense for environmentalists

doesn’t mean that we are not on Native land when

and

we step foot in the Tongass. It doesn’t erase the

to shift our focus accordingly.

social

justice

advocates

Photo by Eric Scott

Crystal Nelson


COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHTS < Photo by Kendall Rock

Photo by Sarah Davidson

KETCHIKAN, SAXMAN, AND METLAKATLA Irene Dundas

Ketchikan is a small city nestled deep in the

thousands of years. The Unuk is also host to the

in Ketchikan to help spread awareness of local

Tongass National Forest in southern Southeast

Brucejack Mine and proposed KSM Mine across

issues surrounding these mines. Later this spring,

Alaska. Once dominated by the Ketchikan Pulp

the border in British Columbia. Although BC and

Irene will be joined in Ketchikan by SEACC staff to

Mill, it is now filled with evidence of a booming

its mines are just upriver, they are separated

meet with local leaders and community members

tourism and fishing industry. SEACC has worked

by miles of remote, mountainous landscapes,

to share information on the danger these mines

in Ketchikan for many years. In 2017 two Tribal

making the mines appear far off and out of mind.

pose to their local river.

Transboundary Indigenous Outreach Coordinators

SEACC Indigenous Outreach Coordinator Irene

joined the SEACC team whose job it is to be on

Dundas, who focuses on Indigenous outreach

the ground in Southeast communities, having

in southern Southeast, is working to increase

one-on-one conversations with local tribal and

the public's awareness of the proximity and

municipal leaders as well as the community. The

potential impact these mines could have on her

Outreach Coordinators have a unique perspective,

community, as well as the critical role of the

existing strong networks to build meaningful

Unuk in determining water quality, and quality

relationships with individuals in communities

of life, downstream.

whose voices need to be heard, and can help lead awareness and strengthen partnerships. Nearby

to

Ketchikan,

the

communities

Through community mobilization and working hand in hand with Tribes, we can get critical

of

information about potential threats to the Unuk

Saxman and Metlakatla have relied on the natural

out to tribal and community members. We have

abundance from the nearby Unuk River for

been in meaningful talks with local tribal leaders

There is power in knowledge and speaking up, together. SEACC is working with the communities of Southeast Alaska to help strengthen and grow the sense of love of place that is deep-rooted in individuals of all generations and build a greater understanding of the issues that are in their backyard. It is together that we can, and will, protect our rivers for today and far into the future. To get engaged, contact SEACC’s Indigenous Outreach

Coordinators

( iren e@sea c c .org)

or

Irene H ea th er

Dundas Ev oy

(heather@seacc.org).

ANGOON Heather Evoy Since

time

immemorial,

Angoon, a remote seaside community of roughly 450 people on the western side of Admiralty Island, has been home to the Xootsnoowú Kwan Tlingit people. Xootsnoowú, "fortress of brown bears" in Tlingit, is aptly named as Admiralty has one of the densest brown bear (grizzly) populations in the world. Designated a National Monument in 1978, Admiralty Island National Monument is a pristine temperate rainforest full of life and lush beauty found in few other places in the world. The Tlingit people of Angoon have always held a deep relationship with the natural world around them and their culture has largely centered on a rich subsistence lifestyle provided by their clean land and water. For thousands of years they have gathered food and hunted on land and sea

7 Ravencall Spring 2018

including seals, clams, salmon, halibut, seaweed,

concerned and want increased transparency and

beach greens, and deer.

collaboration with the state and federal agencies

In February 2018, SEACC staff traveled to

that regulate the mine.

Angoon and held meetings with the Angoon

SEACC is working with the people of Angoon to

Community Association, city officials, spoke with

push the U.S. Forest Service to repeat a baseline

elementary and high school students, and showed

study of Hawk Inlet conducted in 1978-79 in order

our newest film, "Irreparable Harm," featuring

to fully understand the mine’s impacts on the

the community of Angoon and highlighting

marine and upland environments by investigating

the threats from nearby large-scale industrial

the diversity of life within the intertidal zone. We

mining to their wild foods.

must not go blindly into our world but instead

The Tlingit of Angoon have successfully been the stewards of the land for over 10,000 years. Today, community members fear that their food and way of life may be threatened by toxins in the water from the nearby Hecla Greens Creek Mine in Hawk Inlet. As the mine is seeking to expand their tailings dump, community members are

work to illuminate the true impact of mines on our land, water, and communities. The risk communities bear by not knowing if their land and water is being contaminated is unacceptable – help us call on the Forest Service and DEC to require a repeat of the baseline study by signing our petition at www.seacc.org/tier_3_action.


Photo by Allie Gross

MORE PRECIOUS THAN

GOLD

Guy Archibald It may seem impossible that a city today would allow a mine to open just above the heart of downtown, but in Juneau, that could be the case. The mountains surrounding our fair city are pocked with the remnants of historic mines on which the city was founded. Today, Juneau is a bustling urban center and the heart of Alaskan politics, and while mining is just out of sight, there are some who would see a return of this boom to bust industry.

communication, and durable decision-making." The subcommittee began meeting in November 2017, and sought clarification on numerous issues. In November, they commissioned a report looking at the central allegation that the Mining Ordinance duplicates state and federal regulations. Later, they requested that the City Attorney revise the ordinance to clarify language the committee found confusing, and on February 8th 2018, adopted her draft version. During this

The conversation around mining in Juneau has

same meeting, a subset of subcommittee members

been alive for many years and resulted in the

contemplated removing the requirement for a

current CBJ Mining Ordinance, which regulates

socioeconomic impact study from the ordinance

mining in Juneau's urban core. The ordinance

prior to a point in the process that engaged

gives a voice to locals while allowing for the

public participation and feedback, and without

possibility of responsible mining.

discussing

In May 2017 a proposal advanced by individuals with close ties to the mining industry was brought to the city's Committee of the Whole.

subcommittee

have claimed that state and federal permits are sufficient to protect Juneau's interests and "that the loss of any state or federal permit would result in the revocation of Juneau's permit." That might sound reasonable, but despite numerous violations, no mine has ever had a state or federal permit revoked in the entire history of Alaska - so why should we expect a mine here to be different? The current ordinance gives CBJ more discretion by allowing the Commission to suspend or revoke a CBJ permit if an operator is in "material and substantial" noncompliance. It is good policy for CBJ to retain its authority to enforce local concerns.

commissioned

On March 1st, 2018 the subcommittee heard

report nor a related report commissioned by

from the people of Juneau who wrote in and

SEACC.

testified overwhelmingly in favor of keeping

The

the

Those who would see the ordinance gutted

Socioeconomic

Study

is

critical

to

the ordinance, with the socioeconomic analysis intact. Two weeks later, on March 12th the

This proposal would strip the CBJ's power to

understanding how a mine might impact the

enforce local regulations.

It would also reduce

fabric of life in Juneau. It allows us to look at the

the opportunity for public participation, leaving

potential costs to our society that are impossible

community members in Juneau almost voiceless

to put a dollar amount on, costs like the loss of

in the conversation around how to protect our

access to favorite trails, increased crime, and

home from the potentially detrimental effects of

increases in the cost of living. Without it, the

mining. A subcommittee was created and tasked

Planning Commission would lack any basis for

with making a recommendation to the Committee

identifying and mitigating these impacts. Luckily,

Is Juneau more precious than gold? By far.

of the Whole on next steps.

the subcommittee decided to seek feedback from

Mining is a risky endeavor, and the risks we

members of the public before going forward

bear are great. SEACC will continue working with

with the planned removal of the socioeconomic

Assembly members, the Planning Commission,

study, and the community showed up in droves

and members of our community to ensure that

to support keeping it in!

we keep our voice and above all protect this place

From the start, the City Manager warned that a clear, deliberative process was necessary, that "success in discussing this topic requires special handling, patience, substantial public

subcommittee voted to recommend keeping the majority of the ordinance intact. We applaud this decision, the first step in keeping the ordinance. Next, the proposal will go back to the Committee of the Whole and then on to the Planning Commission for review.

that we all love.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW BEFORE THEY GROW Guy Archibald

the

the inlet, and we risk endangering our wildlife

to an abundance of wildlife and wild lands so

Admiralty Island National Monument is home

surrounding environment have increased six

and communities who depend on the wild foods

unique that in 1978 it inspired President Carter

times. Winds have spread dust from the tailings

provided. The Forest Service must repeat the

to designate the island as a national monument.

dump thousands of feet into the surrounding

pre-mining baseline studies prior to allowing

The island also hosts the Hecla Greens Creek

forest, and in nearby Hawk Inlet, over an acre of

yet another expansion of the tailings dump.

Mine, which, in 2018, will be seeking the third

sediments near the loading facility are now too

State and federal agencies cannot keep making

expansion of their tailings dump. The dump, an

toxic to maintain aquatic life.

decisions while ignoring how those decisions are

enormous pit of mine tailings, already contains around 9 million tons of toxic waste. The mine has been allowed to operate on the public land so

Since

mining

began,

lead

levels

in

In 2015, SEACC worked with Friends of Admiralty Island to reassess Hawk Inlet. Three years of

affecting the health of the environment and the people that depend on it for sustenance.

data showed evidence that toxic chemicals are

Discover the beauty of Admiralty Island and hear

concentrating and moving up the food chain,

from the people of Angoon about the importance

including a harbor seal liver sample with 220

of Hawk Inlet for their way of life in SEACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

In the 1970â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, rigorous studies were conducted

parts per million of mercury. This level of mercury

new short film Irreparable Harm, now screening

in order to create a baseline understanding of

is 16 times the highest seal liver mercury level

around the country.

aquatic life in adjacent Hawk Inlet and to be

ever recorded in Alaska. People from surrounding

later replicated to measure the impacts of the

communities including Angoon, Hoonah, and

mine on the surrounding environment. This

Juneau have all gathered food from Hawk Inlet

baseline data was hidden from public view until

for thousands of years. Our findings have caused

SIGN OUR PETITION

SEACC uncovered it in 2013. Since then, state and

people in these communities to question the

asking for a repeat of the baseline studies

federal agencies have refused numerous requests

health and safety of their traditionally gathered

to duplicate these studies in order to get a true

foods.

www.seacc.org/healing_Hawk_Inlet_petition

long as the mine create no irreparable harm to the monument.

picture of how this mine is affecting public lands and waters.

8 Ravencall Spring 2018

Without

another

study,

we

cannot

fully

understand the impact the mine has had on

TAKE ACTION

Find a film screening of Irreparable Harm www.seacc.org/irreparable_harm


Photo by Joe Ordoñez

OUTSTANDING

OUR

ALASKAN

Sarah Davidson 20 years.

WATERS

-- CURRENT NOMINATIONS --

That’s how long the State

of Alaska has been out of compliance with

CHILKAT RIVER

CHANDALAR RIVER

the Clean Water Act by denying Alaskans

The Chilkat River, Jilkaat Heeni or “storage

A tributary of the Yukon, the Chandalar River

the right to designate our waters for Tier

container for salmon” in Tlingit, was nominated in

was nominated for Tier 3 designation in 2016 by

3 protections. Although they have defined

2016 by the Chilkat Indian Village of Klukwan. Its

the Venetie Village Council. The main stem begins

what a Tier 3 water is, they have yet to lay

headwaters rise from the Chilkat Glacier in British

where the North Fork Chandalar and the Middle

the path to designating one, leaving us in

Columbia and flow southwest to the head of Chilkat

Fork Chandalar meet, flowing southeast through

limbo. While we are not yet able to protect

Inlet, one mile southwest of Haines, Alaska.

Alaska’s northern interior, and joining the Yukon

our water, the state is continuing to permit

KEY SPECIES: All five species of Pacific salmon,

discharges of toxic substances into our waterways – the very waterways that we rely on to eat, drink, and live. It should not

the

wolverines, wolves, brown and black bears,

artic grayling, charr, lake trout, and caribou. THREATS: Placer mining.

gold, silver, copper, and zinc mine.

Despite not yet having a path to designation, throughout

KEY SPECIES: Northern pike, sheefish, salmon,

THREATS: Palmer Project, a controversial proposed

protect them, but in Alaska, it is.

communities

anadromous eulachon and trout, mountain goats, moose, bald eagles.

be easier to pollute our waters than it is to

River 20 miles northwest of Fort Yukon.

state

are

YAKUTAT FORELANDS/ ALSEK RIVER

standing up to protect their waters. Four

KOKTULI RIVER

Nominated in 2016 by the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe,

Alaskan waterbodies have been nominated

Nominated in 2009, the Koktuli River is in the

the Forelands extends about 50 miles between

for Tier 3 status, also called Outstanding

watershed hosting the world-class Bristol Bay

Yakutat Bay and the Alsek River, and is composed of

National

of

fishery. It begins at Lake Iliamna and flows into

marshes, shrubs, rivers, and forests. The Forelands

their ecological, economic, or recreational

the Mulchatna River, joining the Nushagak River

are known for enormous bird migrations, wildlife

importance, and others are currently in

that empties into an inlet of Bristol Bay, east of

viewing, sport fishing, and outdoor recreation.

process. A Tier 3 water is offered the highest

Dillingham, Alaska.

Resource

Waters,

because

level of protection and no long-term pollution is allowed. Our waters here in Alaska are exceptional and are the lifeblood of our state, land, and communities. Nominating

KEY SPECIES: All five species of Pacific salmon,

KEY SPECIES: All five species of Pacific salmon,

rainbow

Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, grayling, caribou,

eulachon, moose, goat, brown and black bears,

moose, and brown bear.

whales, seals, sea lions, and several varieties of

a Tier 3 water sends a clear message to the

THREATS: Pebble Project, a controversial proposed

Department of Environmental Conservation

copper and gold mine.

and

cutthroat

trout,

Dolly

Varden,

birds. THREATS: Mine exploration upstream in the Alsek Watershed, in British Columbia and the Yukon

(DEC), which is in charge of implementing the process, that our waters are in need of

Territory.

TAKE ACTION

protection to remain outstanding and that our communities are willing to do what it

For more information and to sign our petition asking for a moratorium

takes to keep them that way.

on discharge permits www.seacc.org/tier_3_action

STANDING UP FOR THE CHILKAT: TAKING THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT TO COURT Sarah Davidson On

Monday

2017,

well-being, cultural traditions, and as a local

decision-making in connection with other mining

diverse

economic driver, may simply see protecting the

projects, helping to make sure they’re evaluated

group comprised of a Tribal Government and

river as common sense. After all, we defend what

comprehensively, and take account of negative

local,

conservation

we need to survive. Put more eloquently by Jacques

socioeconomic impacts on nearby communities.

organizations collectively stood up for the Chilkat

Cousteau, “we protect what we love.” With such

River, near Haines, Alaska in the upper Lynn

an astounding natural convergence of rich wildlife,

Canal. Represented by Earthjustice, SEACC and

thriving vegetation, abundant rainfall, and unique

partners filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land

geological phenomena all in one valley, it should

Management (BLM) for failing to consider impacts

not come as a surprise that we are willing to do all

of a large-scale mine development before allowing

that we can to ensure the highest protection for

a mine-exploration project to advance upstream of

this river and region, including taking legal action

the Chilkat Valley, one of the most dynamic and

to protect it. But it is, in fact, remarkable. Here are

productive systems in the world. The valley is

three reasons why.

something

the

fourth

remarkable

regional,

and

of

December

happened.

bi-national

A

home to the Native Village of Klukwan and boasts world-class commercial fishing, heli-skiing, and the largest gathering of bald eagles worldwide. The complaint, filed with the Federal District Court in Anchorage, challenges two decisions which BLM authorized in 2016 and 2017 that permitted the Canadian company, Constantine Metal Resources Ltd.,

to

move

forward

with

hardrock

mine

exploration for the Palmer Project in the Chilkat Watershed. Those who understand the importance of the Chilkat as a source of food, water, livelihood, 9 Ravencall Spring 2018

Third, it’s changing the conversation about land management. Managing large areas of land in short-term and isolated increments is ineffective and irresponsible. This case points out that the government must consider the overall impacts on ecosystems, human health, and safety prior to permitting projects. It emphasizes that attention must be paid to community and ecosystem protections

throughout

the

entire

permitting

First, it is addressing an agency practice that must

process. This is a significant and important

change. The BLM has approved incremental and

clarification for land management on a national

piecemeal permit applications without taking into

scale, evaluating the impact of the sum of the

account the impact of a mine. Our case points out

whole mine, not its individual parts.

that BLM must consider the impacts of a fullblown mine in the exploration process in order to understand the consequences of its decisions.

This is a remarkable move because it is a remarkable place. The Chilkat inspires those who visit its banks and provides for those who live there.

Second, it has implications for other mine projects

We must look beyond what the established practices

beyond the Chilkat Valley. BLM’s procedure at the

are and forward to a sustainable future. SEACC

Constantine Mine is consistent with its practice

will continue working with local communities to

at other mine projects.

ensure that we are all able to thrive.

A successful challenge

here could be a first step to improving agency


Photo by Charles Sidlinger

LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS THE ROLE OF MEMBERSHIP IN 2018 Maggie Rabb

SEACC is first and foremost a grassroots conservation organization and this past year has reminded us how important grassroots activism is in times of transition and political vulnerability nationwide. SEACC fights to protect Southeastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wild forests and clean water and we cannot do this important work without our supporters and members. Your dollars help support our work financially and give weight to our shared voice in the halls of power, whether across the country in Washington DC, or right here in Juneau. The ability to share with our city officials and our state and national representatives that SEACC represents a tremendous network of individuals gives all of our voices more power. Help us speak for Southeast - become a member with a simple $35 annual donation, and lend your voice and grow our power in this fight.

Supporter Spotlight: Sonia Ibarra, PhD Candidate, University of Alaska Fairbanks Juneau, Alaska If you head to Prince of Wales or Kupreanof

come to admire his work. For both Sonia and Guy,

the

Island you may meet Sonia Ibarra, a fisheries PhD

a critical piece of understanding and protecting

students from the

candidate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

the land and water of Southeast is understanding

local high school

For six years, Sonia lived and worked throughout

the history of the place and its people. By asking

it is no longer a

the Southeast, studying the impact of sea otters

questions and listening to local knowledge, we

stretch of sand but

on customary and traditional foods harvested by

are able to gain a deeper understanding, and have

a place rich with

local communities. Her work has focused on the

a greater impact helping to protect the land and

stories, science, and

communities of Hydaburg, Craig, and Klawock,

water of Southeast.

opportunity. It is a place

remote communities on Prince of Wales Island, and Kake on Kupreanof Island, in southern Southeast Alaska. There she has worked with Native communities, melding her work as a biologist with local traditional knowledge and the history of the local people whose families have lived on the island since time immemorial. For Sonia it is not just gathering data, but a deeper understanding of the people and place that drives her work. Over the years she has worked with SEACC staff scientist Guy Archibald and has

For Sonia, SEACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work on mining in Alaska and across the border in British Columbia is particularly important, especially when it comes to helping local communities keep their access to their traditional foods. By keeping our environment and marine life healthy we are also supporting healthy communities. Southeast Alaska is a place abounding in wild beauty and rich history. It is this history that

beaches

with

that binds and unifies us in our work protecting Southeast today a n d i n t o t h e future. Sonia looks forward to working with SEACC here in Juneau and throughout Southeast Alaska to protect this special place through a better understanding of the science and community that make it so unique. You can check out more information on her work here: http://apecs-ak.org/blog/

transforms the landscape for Sonia. As she walks

Photo by Bob Christensen

Supporter Spotlight: Betsy and Jonathan Wood Juneau, Alaska It was their deep love of Juneau and a desire to

With the recent change in administration

protect their rainforest home. For them, this

protect Southeast that led Jonathan and Betsy

and political climate in the US, they wanted to

means protecting areas like the Taku River, a

Wood to support SEACC. As a young couple

do more than simply talk about the issues on

favorite place for Betsy, and the region around

starting their lives together it was important

social media and decided to "put their money

Haines, Alaska, a much-loved place for Jonathan.

to them to step up and support organizations

where their mouth is." When it comes time to

they believe in. This led them, in June of 2017,

write the checks, monthly donations "fit in

to join with other 'sustainers' in making regular

our budget better and are more sustainable.

donations to SEACC each month.

As a young couple, it seemed like that was

Jonathan first came to Southeast to work as a raft guide in Skagway ten years ago and soon met and fell in love with Betsy, a lifelong resident of Juneau. For them Southeast Alaska is like no other place on earth. Here they are able to enjoy

better than sitting down once a year and writing a check." Now, each month they make regular donations to a variety of organizations that

work

to

promote

civil

liberties

and

environmental conservation.

Join Betsy and Jonathan in becoming monthly donors to SEACC: by donating as little

as

the

cost of a cup of coffee each month, you will help make a big

nature as it should be, kayaking, hiking, and

When it came to the environment, Jonathan

difference in our

exploring the rich natural landscape right in their

and Betsy wanted to "think global and act local,"

work region-wide!

backyard.

supporting a regional nonprofit that works to

THE MANY WAYS TO DONATE Donate Today www.seacc.org/donate 10 Ravencall Spring 2018

Become a Monthly Sustainer: www.seacc.org/donate_monthly

Discover More Ways to Give: www.seacc.org/more_ways_to_give


Ravencall Events Calendar MAY

14-18 MAY

17-20

KETCHIKAN SUPPORTER POTLUCK | Ketchikan, AK Come and hang out with the SEACC staff who will be in town to meet with supporters. Be sure to join us for a potluck, check in on our events page for the exact date.

LITTLE NORWAY FESTIVAL | Petersburg, AK SEACC staff will be in town to share the salmon love during Southeast's celebration of Scandinavian culture.

SEACC COMMUNITY BONFIRE | Juneau, AK

MAY

SEACC's first monthly bonfire on the beach! We will provide the

17

fire, inspiration for action, and snacks, you bring your friends, family, food, and drinks to share.

SEACC COMMUNITY BONFIRE | Juneau, AK

JUNE

21

friends, family, food, and drinks! Check our event listings page for more information.

CHILKAT CHALLENGE TRIATHLON | Haines, AK

JULY

1

Don't sweat the small stuff, come sweat with us as we paddle, bike, and run during the second annual triathlon!

4TH OF JULY PARADE | Juneau, AK

JULY

4

Join the parade as SEACC staff and volunteers float through the streets of Juneau to celebrate our clean water and healthy forests!

SEACC COMMUNITY BONFIRE |

JULY

Juneau, AK

19

SEACC's bonfire on the beach! We will provide the fire, and

JULY

SOUTHEAST ALASKA STATE FAIR | Haines, AK

small snacks so bring your friends, family, food, and drinks! Check our event listings page for more information.

26 - 29

Meet SEACC staff and buy a t-shirt or a hat from our booth!

KETCHIKAN BLUEBERRY ARTS FESTIVAL | Ketchikan, AK

AUGUST

3-5

The berries will be blue, but the mood sure won't be! Meet us in K-town for the best and tastiest arts festival in Southeast!

Eric Holle of Lynn Canal Conservation speaks at a film night at the American Bald Eagle Foundation, Haines, Alaska

SEACC COMMUNITY BONFIRE | Juneau, AK

AUGUST

16

SEACC's bonfire on the beach! We will provide the fire, and small snacks so bring your friends, family, food, and drinks! Check our event listings page for more information.

NOVEMEBER

1-4

Cheers to SEACC at our Sitka Potluck

SEACC's bonfire on the beach! We will provide the fire, and small snacks so bring your

SITKA WHALEFEST | Sitka, AK We will have a whale of a time at Sitka's Whalefest where we will learn about and celebrate these ballerinas of the sea.

Check back on our website and Facebook page for additional events, including activist training in Juneau, that we will be hosting and attending! www.seacc.org/event_listings

s

THANK YOU TO OUR BUSINESS PARTNERS

Baranof Wilderness Lodge SITKA, AK

TP Alaska Designs JUNEAU, AK

Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks GUSTAVUS, AK

Bluewater Adventures VANCOUVER, BC

Sense of Place JUNEAU, AK

11 Ravencall Spring 2018


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Juneau, AK 99801 Permit #107

224 Gold Street Juneau, AK 99801 (907) 586-6942 www.seacc.org

Want to receive the Ravencall in your mail? Email us at info@seacc.org. You can also find Ravencall online at issuu.com/seacc.

Ravencall LOVE SOUTHEAST ? # P R OT E CT W H ATYO U LOV E

q I want to set up a monthly,

recurring donation of: q $5/mo q $10/mo q $25/mo q $50/mo q $100/mo q $________

q I want to make a one-time donation at:

q $35 q $250

q $50 q $500

q $100 q $1000

Card #_______________________________________ Expiration date_______ CVC code_________________ Name________________________________________ Email________________________________________ Address______________________________________ City ____________________State_______ Zip_______ Phone(______) ______–______ (required for card payments)

q Keep my donation anonymous. q I want to learn more about leaving a legacy gift to SEACC – please send information.

Donate online at www.seacc.org or clip and send to: Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 224 Gold St, Juneau, AK 99801 Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

Photo by Charles Sidlinger

Ravencall Spring 2018  
Ravencall Spring 2018  
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