Ravencall Spring 2020

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Ravencall

SEACC SOUTHEAST ALASKA CO N S E R V AT I O N CO U N C I L

1970

2020


In This Issue... photo by Connor Gallagher

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people who have been the stewards of the forests and waters of this land since time immemorial, and on whose land we each do our work and live our lives.

Staff

Meredith Trainor........... Executive Director Maggie Rabb.................... Director of Development and Operations Dan Cannon..................... Tongass Forest Program Manager Sally Schlichting............ Environmental Policy Analyst Sarah Davidson.............. Inside Passage Waters Program Manager Guy Archibald................. Staff Scientist Heather Evoy.................. Indigenous Engagement Lead Shannon Donahue......... Upper Lynn Canal Organizer Matt Jackson................... Climate Organizer Conor Lendrum.............. Development & Outreach Associate Emily Russo Miller........ Communications Lead Linda Baumgartner....... Office Manager

Mission

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.

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Denying Social License for the Palmer Mine

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A Tale of Two Mines

Board of Directors

Katie Ione Craney................................. President, Haines Natalie Watson..................................... Vice-President, Juneau Bob Schroeder....................................... Treasurer, Juneau Steve Lewis............................................ Secretary, Tenakee Springs Marian Allen......................................... Sitka Clay Frick............................................... Haines Steve Kallick.......................................... Seattle Bart Koehler.......................................... Juneau Ray Sensmeier...................................... Yakutat Naawéiyaa Austin Ray Tagaban........ Juneau Stephen Todd........................................ Wrangell Wayne Weihing.................................... Ketchikan

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Building Unity Through Shared Watersheds

Contact

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 2207 Jordan Avenue, Juneau, Alaska 99801 (907) 586-6942 | info@seacc.org | www.seacc.org

The Ravencall is a publication of SEACC Editors: Conor Lendrum & Emily Russo Miller Designer: James K Brown, Brown and Blue Cover: SEACC archive photo

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Imagining Southeast Without SEACC

Gear UP!

Check out SEACC T-shirts, hats, onesies, stickers, new stainless steel pint glasses, and more at the online SEACC store! www.seacc.org/store

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photos by Q’on Bear-Clark


Executive Director’s Note Meredith Trainor

Dear Friends, I’ve looked forward to writing this

note in celebration of SEACC’s 50th anniversary since the day I began preparing for my job interview with the SEACC Board, back in 2016. I realized then that if I got the job, I would likely be SEACC’s Executive Director for the organization’s 50th year, which is an incredible honor. Our organization began in 1970 as a collection of scrappy, feisty, committed and geographically distributed community nonprofits that then reassembled as a regional conservation council, unifying those smaller groups and magnifying their voice and impact. We have grown over the years to become one of Southeast Alaska’s largest professional conservation and environmental justice organizations. 50 years is a BIG deal and worthy of a BIG celebration! It takes a particularly special place and a unique alchemy of community activists, donors, staff, grant-makers and leaders for an organization like ours to succeed for a full half of a century. And yet here we

Nor could we have anticipated the

SEACC will always continue to be the

havoc it would create within our

community-centered conservation

country and our communities, as we all

nonprofit that watchdogs new

rapidly adjusted to a brave new world

legislation and policy, and ensures that

of collective remote work, unplanned

the public – our uniquely powerful,

homeschooling and necessary physical

vibrant and diverse Southeast Alaskan

distancing from our support networks

grassroots – will be heard and seen by

and loved ones. 2020 will indeed go

decision-makers, and will continue

down as a big year for SEACC, our nation

protecting the special places that we love

and world, though perhaps not in the

most.

way I might have imagined in 2016.

Please enjoy the stories and reflections

Admittedly, I am a bit chagrined that I

on our first 50 years in the pages that

pen this letter on a day that marks the beginning of SEACC’s third week of physical distancing and remote work, even as I look out from my couch at a beautiful view of Douglas Island’s snowcapped Mount Jumbo, over a Gastineau Channel that sparkles with sunshine on a very cold, crisp, early April day.

follow, and please share your own stories and reflections with me and the rest of the staff through our social media or through email. We are continuing to adapt our original plans for in-person celebrations this spring to instead take place online, or later this year, but continue to plan to host an epic party to celebrate our 50th in December at

In this time of uncertainty, we

the Alaska State Library, Archives, and

contemplated whether it was still

Museum, in Juneau (more details on

appropriate to bring our Ravencall to

page 11!) I look forward to a future date

print, and whether there would be room

when all of us can once again share

in people’s minds and hearts for our

hugs, high-fives and the joy of being in

work and to celebrate this milestone

community with one another, in person.

with us. We ultimately decided that there

Finally, happy anniversary, once more,

would, and that we would prioritize

to us! To all of us, who have worked so

Ravencall’s printing and mailing as

hard over the last 50 years, and for all

a way to connect with you. I hope it

we’ve accomplished — the landmark

We knew that 2020 and our 50th would be

also serves as an inspiring reminder

rulings and legislation, protected places,

a big year and that we wanted to throw

that SEACC has endured periods of

partnerships and relationships we’ve

innovative, inspiring events to celebrate

uncertainty before in our 50 years, and

made along the way — for it is them, and

with each of you. We could never have

will again. As I’ve often said as we’ve

you, that makes SEACC what it is today.

foreseen that our milestone would be

grown over the last few years, and as

are, bigger and stronger than ever.

marked in the shadow of COVID-19.

continues to be true during this age of pandemic: we’re not going anywhere.

With best wishes for health, contentment and love during an uncertain time –Meredith

photo by Michele Cornelius

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photo by Annie Nyborg

Organizing People Power to Deny Social License for the Palmer Mine by Shannon Donahue

At the far northern reach of the Inside Passage, the green, temperate rainforest narrows between the steep, rugged, snow-covered Chilkat and Takshanuk Mountains before transitioning into Canada’s subarctic taiga. This transition zone, home to Haines and Klukwan, arguably supports more biological diversity than any other valley in Alaska, and a unique cultural heritage as the longest continuously inhabited place in North America. The communities of the Chilkat Valley are inextricably connected to the land and water. Everything here depends on salmon. The Chilkat Watershed faces an existential threat as Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. of Canada and Japanese metals company, DOWA, attempt to develop the Palmer Project, a proposed sulfide mine at the Chilkat River headwaters. Even in the exploration stage, the excavation needed to prove the mineral deposits for the proposed copper, zinc, silver, gold mine could release acid mine drainage and heavy metals into the watershed, requiring treatment forever. People are speaking out against the mine, and it’s working. On September 9, 2019, SEACC and our partners successfully challenged Constantine’s waste management permit, objecting to flaws in the application including insufficient baseline water quality data and Constantine’s choice not to conduct hydrological testing to determine where wastewater would go. The funny thing was, notification from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) about our successful challenge came late, after the 5 p.m. deadline. While we were waiting, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and ADEC Commissioner Jason Brune made an unannounced visit to the Palmer Project. They chose not to reach out to Tribal governments, commercial fishermen, business owners, or local decision

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makers, except the Haines mayor who drove to the airport to meet with the governor “casually” for a few minutes. We can only guess what the governor and commissioner discussed with Constantine, but their public display of allegiance was deafening. The next thing we knew, Dunleavy was traveling to Japan on a trade mission, where he met with DOWA to talk about the Palmer Project and tell them “Alaska is open for business.” SEACC was already putting pressure on DOWA, using our online tools to generate 364 letters asking DOWA to withdraw their 49% stake in the project. Dunleavy’s “open for business” administration privileges extractive industries over sustainable Alaskan businesses like fishing, tourism and the arts.

investors. Projects lose time, money and resources to permit challenges and delays. The good news is we’ve read their playbook. In an attempt to bolster social license, Constantine hired Hemmera, a Canadian subsidiary of a multinational mine consulting corporation, to conduct consultation interviews. This process attempted to give residents the impression that they have a voice in Constantine’s development activities. Instead, it perpetuated a false narrative that the mine is inevitable and can be developed responsibly with community input, ignoring the fact that a sulfide mine cannot be safely developed at the headwaters of a salmon-bearing river. SEACC and our partners responded with a statement calling out the process and refusing to grant social license, signed by 36 local residents, organizations and business owners. After we released the statement to Hemmera, Constantine and the media, concerned residents continued to contact us in support of the letter. At the time of writing, Constantine is delaying construction of the exploration tunnel and waste management system until 2021, as they await a U.S. Supreme Court decision, about an unrelated case in Hawaii, that may impact their permit and their ability to raise money for the project. Investors have not been clamoring to fund this project, and the more we raise our voices, the shakier this investment becomes.

photo by Connor Gallagher

Now, Constantine is struggling with “social license” — an industry term for community support — thanks to our vocal opposition and organizing. An entire body of social science exists solely to help industry gain and maintain community trust, regardless of whether they act in the community’s best interest. Without social license, companies struggle to attract and retain

In an era when state and federal administrations fail to protect communities from extractive industries, people can find their power in withholding social license. Campaigns to protect our cherished places succeed when people come together in opposition. You can help us to protect the Chilkat Watershed by spreading the word, and by using the tools on our website to make your voice heard: www.seacc.org/protect_the_chilkat Shannon Donahue is SEACC’s Upper Lynn Canal Organizer


A Tale of Two Mines by Jim Stratton

In 1980,

the U.S. Congress passed a landmark conservation bill — the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) — that protected millions of acres of land. The law allowed for two mines to operate in Southeast: Quartz Hill mine in Misty Fjords National Monument, and Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island. When I arrived in Juneau in January 1981 as SEACC’s new Executive Director, U.S. Borax and Chemical Company at Quartz Hill and Noranda Mining Company at Greens Creek were forging ahead. SEACC opposed both mines while ANILCA was being drafted, but Congress allowed them. My role at SEACC was ensuring any mining development would be completed with ANILCA compliance and the least environmental impact. Starting with Greens Creek Mine, SEACC’s strategy was to assert that some of the mining claims themselves were invalid as the final claim validity paperwork was not processed before the December 1978 Antiquities Act withdrawals by President Carter. Our strategy likely contributed to Noranda, the company behind Greens Creek, showing interest in SEACC’s concerns. Harry Noah, one of Noranda’s project managers, asked me to have a beer with him. When we met, I shared SEACC’s fears about what a mining town on Admiralty, with an access road, wastewater discharge, and mine tailings could do to the environment. He listened closely, and upon his request, I wrote a three-page, single-space letter to Noranda detailing SEACC’s concerns. Much to his credit, Harry attempted to address each one. In 1982, SEACC’s top concern was about the road from the dock at Young Bay to the mine site, fearing that the road would be used to log Mansfield Peninsula. In the end, that road was built for the private, exclusive purpose of transporting miners to and from work, alleviating that concern. SEACC was also concerned about the location of the wastewater discharge and mixing zone, but felt the

photo by Michele Cornelius

Greens Creek Mine photo by Bruce Baker

mine plan was as good as we could get and, in the end, chose not to appeal the final EIS. Noranda got its mine, and we all got a lesson regarding the benefit of trust, honest discussion, and transparency often leading to a better project. A different story was playing out with the proposed Quartz Hill mine in Misty Fjords, even as we worked with Harry to address Greens Creek. Where Greens Creek had been a parsing of specific concerns with two parties negotiating and working towards an acceptable outcome, Quartz Hill required SEACC to keep vigilant watch over a sly operator. Fortunately for SEACC, Borax had some very specific rules to follow, given their location. Unfortunately for them, they tried to skirt them at every opportunity. ANILCA required Borax to write an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before they could proceed with bulk ore sampling necessary to evaluate the extent of the project’s ore body. It also provided for a road. Borax, however, decided that instead of waiting for the EIS, they would move forward with exploratory drifting instead, without environmental review, a typical, sleazy move. SEACC was left with no option but to sue, which successfully stopped the exploratory drifting. The court ruled in SEACC v. Watson that bulk sampling by any other name is still bulk sampling, and not permitted until the EIS was completed. The proposed Quartz Hill Mine was huge: 150,000 acres anticipated to produce 100 tons of molybdenum, generating 59,900 tons of waste rock daily. Over the projected 70-year life of the mine, 1.5 billion tons of waste rock would have been dug up and disposed. Borax’s preferred dumping place for the rock was the Inside Passage Waters. SEACC and locally allied fishing organizations, though, believed that much rock should only go into the Boca de Quadra, a significantly deeper and longer fjord than the much smaller and salmonrich Smeaton Bay preferred by Borax. The bulk-sampling access road, which could determine where the tailings go, was also contentious. SEACC argued for the road to be built up the Keta River, but lost that fight when the Forest Service selected Borax’s preferred route on the Smeaton Bay side in the eventual bulk sampling EIS.

The court’s earlier decision in SEACC’s winning bulk-sampling lawsuit, however, included strong language guiding interpretation of ANILCA, especially with regards to fish protection. SEACC launched another attack on the final EIS and set the stage for a huge fight over the mine development. Borax, finally, cut their losses and walked away. In 1982 we successfully engaged two different strategies for working against threats posed by two different mines. One was working directly with a willing, trustworthy partner at the mine to address specific concerns with aspects of planning and implementation, and the other was holding a business legally accountable for corners they cut. In addition to withholding social license, a huge part of winning against bad mining projects is making it cost prohibitive for investors and mining companies. This is accomplished by constantly watch-dogging their process for illegal or insufficiently rigorous mining practices, and, as SEACC staff and their partners work against the Constantine-Palmer project today, by galvanizing affected communities to take a stance for water, land and life, instead of for a speculative mine. Noranda was eventually bought by Hecla Mining Co., a different business that didn’t, at the time, have the relationship with locals that Noranda had cultivated. Given that Southeast Alaskan mines can change hands any time, SEACC is vitally needed as a watch-dog on these projects as they move forward, because the plans agreed to in an EIS may not be what the company ultimately gets permitted, and the party getting permitted may not be the one that develops the project, or does the work. While remnants of the road that Borax built in ‘82 remain, 150,000 acres in the heart of the Misty Fjords National Monument’s never became host to a molybdenum mine. SEACC won. Jim Stratton was SEACC Executive Director from 1981 to 1984. He went on to have an illustrious career in Alaskan lands both as an advocate and as Director of Alaska State Parks during the Knowles Administration (1995-2002). He recently retired after 13 years as the Alaska Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association.

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Photographer Daven Hafey stands on the banks of a tributary in the Stikine Watershed which straddles the Alaska-Canada border

Building Unity & Shared Watersheds The Wet’suwet’en Struggle Is Our Struggle too by Heather Evoy

My brothers and sisters to the east, the Wet’suwet’en, are in the midst of a struggle to uphold tribal sovereignty against the British Columbia government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Their battle is our battle, too. I am Tsimshian, and 130 years ago, my ancestors came from what is now called British Columbia. An arbitrary, colonial, geopolitical border divides us now, but the more I work across our shared watersheds, the more I realize how connected we are through culture, language, songs and stories as well as water, land, and resources.

For this reason, Alaskans and British Columbians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, should continue to work together with their individual governments to push for more transparent and collaborative management of these shared resources and impacts. British Columbia Premier John Horgan is being disingenuous when he says the province wants to recognize Indigenous sovereignty, while at the same time refusing to honor the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en people as they protest a pipeline being built on their land. British Columbia should instead lead the way in implementing legal pathways for Indigenous peoples to provide consent on any development projects on their lands and affecting their resources. This is known as the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent, which is prioritized in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

As SEACC’s Indigenous Engagement Lead, I work mostly on transboundary mining issues. But I find the term “transboundary” or “Xboundary,” as it is sometimes called, Canada adopted UNDRIP, lacking as a way and Horgan introduced to describe the related legislation— areas in which titled Bill 41 I work. To “Declaration on the me, these Rights of Indigenous terms are a Peoples Act” — perpetuation which passed of the colonial British Columbia’s structure that Parliament in late has separated 2019. But it felt like Indigenous lip service because he groups of the chose to do nothing and Yées Ku Oo Multicultural Dance Group: northern Pacific remained impartial when Heather Evoy at left, Sig̱oop Price, Northwest for the federal Canadian courts and Bob Ridley the past century. I later approved the expansion SEACC photo prefer to view the work of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline I do as spanning shared through Wet’suwet’en territory without watersheds. their permission. The watersheds shared by Alaska I urge British Columbia to implement and Canada know no geopolitical UNDRIP in a meaningful way that will boundaries. The fish and animals know allow for the principles of Free, Prior no jurisdictional borders. The forest and and Informed Consent to apply to land know no jurisdictional borders. First Nations and Alaska Natives both Similarly, the toxic pollutants and upstream and downstream of shared chemicals that find their way into our watersheds know no borders. watersheds.

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The Wet’suwet’en resistance hits close to home in Southeast Alaska, which should propel Alaskans into action. Currently, a state project is permitted and underway to collect data on two islands south of Ketchikan to explore potential locations for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facility that would be linked to controversial pipeline projects across British Columbia. These projects are often out-of-sight, out-of-mind for many of us, but the threats that mega-mine development in British Columbia pose to Alaska are very real. Alaskans can help by educating themselves on shared watersheds and talking to elected officials about their concerns. Alaskans can also demand the state Department of Environmental Conservation allow for a fair and just Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW or Tier 3) designation process. Tier 3 waters are the state’s most outstanding waters and need continued protection. Finally, Indigenous people must unite across watersheds with shared resources to continue fighting the colonial powers that govern us and for sovereignty over our land, water and resources. First Nations and Alaska Natives have been uniquely tied to the land, animals, and spirits of the natural world since time immemorial, and still to this day, Indigenous knowledge governs all interactions with energy forces around us. Indigenous knowledge and systems have kept the balance and unity between humans and the natural world, between the environment and our way of life, for tens of thousands of years. We can honor that with a simple acknowledgment, and a genuine commitment to find and keep that balance, so we all can thrive for the next ten thousand years. Heather Evoy is SEACC’s Indigenous Engagement Lead, working to promote healthy watersheds. It is truly an honor for her to write this article on the Tlingit Aaní of the Aak’w Kwáan.


Imagining Southeast Without SEACC How 50-year logging contracts nearly devastated the Tongass by Steve Kallick

As we celebrate SEACC’s 50-year anniversary, it’s worth imagining how history would have been different without our tireless defense of the Tongass. For one thing, we might have marked a very different set of anniversaries, with much darker outcomes: the completion and renewal of the two 50-year Tongass pulp mill contracts.

From the very beginning the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) looked at the magnificent Tongass and dreamed of a future pulpwood farm. As the first USFS Chief Gifford Pinchot told Congress in 1908, wise forest management “must be brought about by the axe.” Leveling the vast and remote Tongass would require an army of axe-wielding loggers, so they offered unheard-of 50-year monopoly logging contracts to anyone who would come to Alaska to both build and run a pulp mill. After decades of promoting pulp and trampling Alaska Native claims, the Forest Service finally found some takers. Ketchikan Pulp Company (KPC) and Sitka’s Alaska Pulp Company (APC) built mills in 1954 and 1961. KPC won exclusive rights to log 8.25 billion board feet—roughly 5.5 million trees from 300,000 acres of old growth— from southern Southeast. APC secured 5.25 billion board feet from northern Southeast. And both companies expected to double their logging by using independent contractors. That’s a lot of axes. Soon beautiful watersheds everywhere, rich with salmon and game, fell to the saw. Many Alaskans were appalled. By 1970, they formed SEACC, trying to save several dozen of the best places left. Time and again, however, the Forest Service used the 50-year contracts as an excuse, insisting that the question wasn’t whether or not to log those special places, just how to do it.

The 50-year contracts created political power, too. In 1975, Dick Folta, SEACC’s first lawyer, brought a brilliant lawsuit that invalidated the 50-year contracts. Congress overruled it and reinstated them just a year later. Then in 1980, in the otherwise conservation-oriented Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Congress imposed a timber production quota and open subsidy checkbook on the Tongass, making it the only National Forest in the country legally mandated to prioritize logging over everything else. Undaunted, SEACC kept fighting. In 1984, we convinced Congress to hold hearings on the logging mandate and contracts. We carefully researched and documented management abuses and identified irreconcilable conflicts with the principle of “multiple use.” These facts made the difference. At first, the full U.S. House voted to terminate both contracts, but pulp mill counterpressure kept them alive in the final Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA). However, most of the inherent, unfair advantages in the contracts were changed or removed and a million more acres of magnificent old-growth forest was ultimately protected.

Fighting for the Tongass Timber Reform Act

SEACC archive photo

Decimation of the Tongass at Hoonah, 1970s photo by Jim Mackovjak

But the fight still wasn’t over. Before the TTRA ink was dry, the mills and Forest Service tried to limit its impact. SEACC dogged the process, preventing retrenchment. Then in 1993, APC closed its pulp mill in favor of a more lucrative fiberboard plant employing far fewer people. SEACC and other groups forced the Forest Service to declare a breach and terminate APC’s contract. Next, KPC demanded a long extension of its 50-year contract, which SEACC and friends also successfully opposed. KPC abandoned its contract in 1997.

Mitkof Lumber in Petersburg, 1973 photo by Jim Mackovjak

When it was all over, APC had 20 years left to go, KPC another seven, and they left a huge backlog of uncut timber amounting to nearly half the original commitments. Vast areas of the forest were released and spared, with most protected by the 2001 Roadless Rule. Logging levels in the Tongass returned to the historical, sustainable, long-term average, right where they remain today. So, now imagine the Southeast without SEACC: most of the finest river valleys stripped of their biggest trees, old abandoned roads sliding down the hill, hunting and fishing diminished, independent logging companies bought out, pulp mills still going strong, belching toxic smoke and polluting the bays. Over the last 50 years, SEACC kept that from happening and allowed us to celebrate the right 50th anniversary today.

Cleared landscape on Kuiu Island, 1970s SEACC archive photo

Crusaders of Kuiu Island photo by Shelly Stallings

Steve Kallick has been active in SEACC since 1982, serving at various times as our external legal counsel, staff attorney and deputy director, funder and member of the board. Ravencall | Spring 2020

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Old-growth forest on Kuiu Island photo by Erike Bjorum

Follow the Money

Big Timber Gets Government Handout—Twice by Dan Cannon

In September,

as the Trump administration attempted to roll back Roadless Rule protections on over 9 million acres of the Tongass National Forest, a light was shined on a government handout to Big Timber. A public records request showed that starting in 2018, the State of Alaska coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to modify a $2 million USDA State Fire Assistance program grant. The money was supposed to go toward wages and equipment for firefighters, which was badly needed at the time. In 2019, Alaskans and the country watched as fires burned over 2.5 million acres of forests across Alaska. Instead, a big chunk of that grant — approximately $150,000 — was diverted to timber industry front group Alaska Forest Association (AFA) under the guise that AFA would provide “industry perspective on operability and economic viability of future timber sales on the Tongass National Forest.” This was a ridiculous decision primarily because AFA’s perspective on Roadless Rule protections do not align with a majority of Southeast Alaskans, who depend on the Tongass to fill their freezers with salmon from healthy watersheds in the Tongass. Two federal lawmakers, who learned of the grant funding modification through the records request in 2019, began to question if this appropriation was legal. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and U.S. Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona requested that the USDA Inspector General investigate whether the U.S. Forest Service inappropriately granted these funds to the State of Alaska. The investigation is still ongoing and findings still pending, as of mid-April.

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Their response was vastly different from Alaska officials, who all of a sudden were under scrutiny. When Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Corri Feige first heard about the investigation, they tried to smear SEACC as an “environmental extremist group” publicly in the press. Filing a public records request is anything but extreme. SEACC wishes we could take credit for the request that initiated this investigation, but that credit goes to a local journalist, Elizabeth Jenkins at Alaska Public Media’s Alaska Energy Desk. Strong investigative journalism was truly responsible for exposing the use of these funds. SEACC did submit our own public records request into the matter, but did not receive our results until after Jenkins’s article was published, as cited by Senator Stabenow and Representative Grijalva. Rather than the state using the USDA funds and giving a portion to AFA, SEACC would have rather the Forest Service distribute the $2 million dollars equally across all of the cooperating agencies within the Roadless Rulemaking process, especially the original six Tribal governments that were designated as U.S. Forest Service cooperating agencies, none of whom have received any federal funds to date.

Collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service, the Alaska Division of Forestry and the Alaska Forest Industry in southeast [sic] Alaska.” The Forest Service agreed that the State of Alaska pay AFA up to $260,000 annually for up to five years. Instead of the U.S. Forest Service paying the state to support and facilitate collaboration with the timber industry (AFA), the state should use these funds to facilitate and collaborate with Tribal governments across Southeast to promote the sharing of traditional knowledge and/or numerous restoration and recreation projects on their traditional lands. There is no doubt that the U.S. Forest Service provided funds to help foster a cozy relationship between the State of Alaska and Big Timber. AFA should have not been the sole recipient of these taxpayer dollars. With logging contributing less than 1% of Southeast Alaska’s economy, we have to ask ourselves: is giving a combined total of more than a million dollars in taxpayer funds to the Alaska Forest Association really the best use of funds? Dan Cannon is SEACC’s Tongass Forest Program Manager

Unfortunately, taxpayer handouts to AFA don’t stop with the Alaskaspecific Roadless Rulemaking process. Earthjustice and Alaska Rainforest Defenders in January 2019 through another public records request discovered a separate cooperative agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and the State of Alaska, titled: “To: Support and Facilitate

photo by Erike Bjorum


Community members from all different walks of life shared the same concerns about the future of the land and water on which they relied for their livelihood, recreation and unique Southeast Alaskan way of life. They started to form groups, pool together resources and coordinate, united under a common cause to protect our home. The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council was born out of this effort, and committed to protecting 46 specific watersheds in the Tongass that were integral to its ecosystem.

This has been possible thanks in large part to the Southeast Alaska communities that value the thriving environment that makes our home one of the richest havens on the planet. SEACC may not have been able to help protect even 50 acres of the Tongass or kept our doors open for 50 days if it weren’t for supporters like you who have lent us your time, resources and passion.

And so began a rich history that is now culminating with a The tale of SEACC’s mid-century pause, 50 years mirrors in reflection: 50 the story of so many years of protecting the Sitka, 1989, protestors Alaskans who make Tongass. In that time, gather regarding this our home, among the the TTRA SEACC has stood up to the majestic mountains and waterways U.S. Forest Service, international that mean so much to each of us, logging conglomerates, foreign and support our livelihoods and provide domestic mining developers, and the us with a deep personal connection Alaska government itself in the name with the land. It is the tale of Southeast of protecting the Tongass and Inside Alaskans fighting the dangers posed to Passage Waters. We have kept mines out the salmon, the deer, the forests, and of Misty Fjords National Monument and battled old-growth timber sales destined the streams that are iconic and essential to our sense of home. SEACC’s slogan is for export.

we’re planning 50-year anniversary parties throughout the region— Haines, Ketchikan, Prince of Wales, Sitka and Juneau—where we can acknowledge the Inside Passage Water watch-dogs and vigilant Tongass rangers that have made the last five decades lush and vibrant.

TO C E L E B RAT E

many residents of Southeast Alaska began to recognize the danger that industrial-scale logging posed to virtually every aspect of their lives by the destruction of the Tongass National Forest.

Half a century ago,

50 Years of SEACC

“Protecting Southeast Alaska’s Special Places,� but there isn’t a part of Southeast that isn’t special and isn’t worth protecting. Without you, the coasts of our home would be bald with clearcuts and the streams would be empty of salmon and running orange with acid rock runoff from unchallenged mines. SEACC has set two big goals for its 50th anniversary: to raise $50,000 beyond last year’s annual gift amount and invite 50 legacy pledges from those who want to keep the Tongass and the Inside Passage protected for a half-century more. Work with us to ensure that the Tongass is protected decades from now, as climate change continues to shape the face of the world and as corporations and governments devise new ways to exploit both trees and tides. Please help us chart a path forward for another 50 years and consider making a Special 50th Anniversary Gift using the mailable cut-out on the back of this Ravencall or go to seacc.org/donate50-50. Additional gifts received anytime between now and December will count toward our 50th goals! Thank you again for everything you have done, and will do, to keep SEACC and Southeast strong and thriving.

Sitka, 1989, Senate Field Hearing protest on the Tongass Timber Reform Act

SEACC archive photos

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Juneau, 1989, Alaskans rally at the State Capitol, protesting the exclusion of Juneau from Senate Field Hearings on the Tongass Timber Reform Act. SEACC archive photo

New Transitions in Our 50th Year The world of conservation nonprofit work in Southeast moves at a constant, demanding pace. Luckily, SEACC has a dedicated staff and board committed to stewardship of this land, as both new and old threats abound. We at SEACC have been honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with stalwart, tenacious and effective conservationists, and in this issue of the Ravencall, we would like to draw special attention to roles that changed, or changed hands, this year.

of Grassroots Attorney at SEACC for 30 years. At his retirement party in December, Earthjustice delivered a presentation showing the trend of plummeting timber sales in Southeast Alaska and how closely it correlated to his conservation work during his tenure. Buck dedicated three decades to the Tongass and the Inside Passage Waters of Southeast Alaska and has earned every moment of his retirement. Congratulations, Buck, and deepest thanks from a grateful community.

Sally Schlichting is SEACC’s

Ravencall | Spring 2020

Stephen Todd, of Wrangell, served

as the President of SEACC’s board since 2017. After three years of service, in March he passed the baton along to Katie Ione Craney. He said, “The SEACC Board of Directors are a group of folks that are passionate about this very special

SEACC held its board meeting in Juneau in March, just as Alaska was becoming truly aware of COVID-19’s global reach. As the news of its impact around the world spread, Katie Ione Craney, of Haines, was elected President of the Board. “It is an incredible honor to be entrusted as the new SEACC Board President,” Katie said. “In these transformative times, I can think of no better way to channel my grief and energy than into the very place that nourishes my livelihood. Like Toni Morrison, I believe in the power of knowledge and the ferocity of beauty, and am guided by the tremendous passion our communities, members, staff, and board share for Southeast Alaska.”

Katie Ione Craney

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top-notch analysis of the risks posed by the Trump administration’s proposed National Environmental Policy Act rollback, which has been relied upon by conservation groups nationwide. We are all lucky to have Sally keeping an eye on policies affecting the Tongass and the Inside Passage.

Stephen Todd

Environmental Policy Analyst, a new role created to closely watchdog local, state and national legislation on the Tongass National Forest, in addition to working on policy solutions for other regional environmental issues. A Juneau resident since 1969, Sally has worked in the environmental arena for 25 years as a government regulator, consultant and a policy analyst covering contaminated sites, energy, sustainability and climate change. Since starting at SEACC in January, Sally has helped Earthjustice build the case against the Prince of Wales Landscape Level Analysis (POW LLA), and performed

Sally Schlichting

Buck Lindekugel

Buck Lindekugel carried the title

place we call home. The individuals on the board have Southeast Alaska in their hearts, and love this organization to its core. Its members are from across the entire region, and often refer to each other as family. They understand their governance role, and I am proud of the way the board has supported Meredith Trainor’s leadership over the past few years. I am very excited that Katie has stepped into the new role of board chair, and I feel that her steady hand and thoughtful approach will serve the organization well.” Thank you for serving the board as president, Stephen!

SEACC lives as an extension of our community and is embodied by its staff, Executive Director and Board of Directors. In our 50th year, we acknowledge and are grateful for all those who have labored for Southeast Alaska and its communities in decades past, and that at every step of the organization’s growth, there has been another set of hands to pick up the shield and carry on the fight for the next 50 years.


A Note on COVID-19

Support SEACC’s Work Today Join us

The pandemic that is sweeping the globe has changed the world as we know it, from our daily routines, to how we interact with one another, and our ability to make plans for the future. In March when this publication was being assembled, state and city leaders began issuing health mandates for the public’s safety. SEACC decided to postpone 50th anniversary celebrations that were planned in Ketchikan and Haines for April and May, as well as

✍ 192020 SEACC Social Calendar JUNE

Contribute $35 or more today to become a SEACC member and help us advocate for the Tongass and Inside Passage here in Southeast! www.seacc.org/donate

☞ Sustain us Recurring donations of even $5 a month keep us reaching for greater goals. We love our sustainers! www.seacc.org/donate_monthly

✌ 50-50 for Our 50 Anniversary th

For our 50 year of defending the Tongass and the Inside Passage, SEACC has set two additional fundraising goals: raise an additional $50,000 over and above last year’s giving, and invite and receive 50 Legacy Gift pledges. Consider giving an additional gift this year to ensure that this 50th year is followed by 50 more. th

Go to www.seacc.org/donate50-50 or check out the back of this Ravencall!

You can donate stock, IFQs, or pledge for the future of Southeast by making a planned gift to SEACC in your will. For more information on planned giving visit www.seacc.org/legacy or email Maggie Rabb at maggie@seacc.org

Summer Solstice Bonfire on the Beach Eagle Beach, Juneau | Tentative Celebrate the longest day of the year with community, conversation and delectable, grillable contributions from friends, neighbors and SEACC!

50th Anniversary Community Celebrations

Tentative Dates SEACC’s 50th anniversary can’t be celebrated in just one town!

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Bonfire on the Beach | Auke Rec, Juneau At peak summer, join your friends, neighbors and SEACC staff as we continue celebrating the warm months and the beauty of Southeast Alaska.

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Bearfest | Wrangell July 22nd-26th: Just like the past two years, SEACC Second will be setting up with T-shirts, hats, memberships Week: and information on important issues facing the AUG. Panhandle.

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Southeast Alaska State Fair | Haines July 30th-Aug. 2nd: Come check out 2019’s winner of Vendor of the Year, peep our new swag and find Last out what actions you can take to ensure the health Week: SEPT. of the Chilkat Valley.

JULY

JULY

Plan for the Long Term

many other smaller engagements around Juneau. As we and other organizations adjust and correct course in response to COVID-19, please consider the events in our calendar tentative. Though this virus has affected every one of us, it is not the end of the community organizing, conservation work and community spirit that has endured for the past five decades to protect Southeast Alaska’s special places. So, while we all adjust to our new present, we continue to plan for our future, with your safety in mind.

JULY

First Week: AUG.

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Blueberry Festival | Ketchikan July 31st-Aug. 2nd: Three days enjoying the summer weather and SEACC’s booth, snagging a new shirt and learning how to defend the Tongass and the Inside Passage.

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By The Sea Arts & Seafood Festival | Coffman Cove Aug. 8th-9th: We had such an incredible time last year, we just had to go again! Join us in Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales to talk Tongass and the Inside Passage while grabbing fresh swag. NOV. Bonfire on the Beach | Skater’s Cabin, Juneau The last summer bonfire for the season, join us for a fun evening of BBQ, conversation and potluck pleasantries by the fire and Mendenhall Lake.

JULY

AUG.

20 AUG.

5

NOV.

Whalefest | Sitka Nov. 5th-8th: Another staple of the SEACC summer circuit, we are thrilled to be returning to Sitka for Whalefest! Come learn about the work we do to protect the Inside Passage Waters!

Last Week: OCT.

Ketchikan

Join us in Ketchikan after Blueberry Fest as we kickoff our half-century celebration with music, food and community.

Prince of Wales

Join us on Prince of Wales after the By The Sea Arts & Seafood Festival as we eat, talk and reminisce on 50 years of SEACC and look forward to 50 years more.

Haines

Join us in Haines as we assemble to potluck, recognize SEACC stalwarts and discuss conservation in the Chilkat Valley.

Sitka

Join us in Sitka around Whalefest as we connect with all our Sitka supporters and party for 50 more years of conservation.

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Public Market | Juneau Nov. 27th-29th: Come say hi as we set up at the JACC, showing off our shirts, hats, cups, and stickers while also accepting memberships, volunteer signups, and offering information on issues from the Tongass to Constantine!

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50th Anniversary Party | Juneau Join us at the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum for our grand anniversary event! Featuring a live auction, a live band, a delicious dinner and dancing late into the night, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

DEC.

Thank You, Business Partners Baranof Wilderness Lodge | Sitka Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks | Gustavus Alaska Nature Tours | Haines Sockeye Cycle Co. | Skagway & Haines Landscape Alaska | Juneau

Sitka Salmon Shares | Sitka Peak Design | San Francisco, CA

If you would like to partner with SEACC, email conor@seacc.org to find out details on how to get into our Ravencall, Tide Book, and onto our website!

Thank You to Our Volunteers There are so many ways to get involved, and volunteering is essential to achieving any significant change. You helped to achieve change in our communities and keep SEACC strong, the waters clean, and the Tongass tall. Every hour spent volunteering continues a tradition even older than SEACC’s halfcentury of people coming together behind the causes that matter to them most. If you are interested in lending your own hands to our efforts, please email us at info@seacc.org!

Harpur Evoy, Cynthia Haven, Aimee Demmert, Bonnie and Haig Demerjian, Malena Marvin, Karl and Maria Richie, Polar Treats, Kootéeyaa Coffee House, Lee Wallace, Cathryn Coats, Bart Koehler, David Lendrum, Margaret Tharp, Hunter Mallinger, Abby Leatherman, Dick Farnell, Luann McVey, Patricia Wherry, Kathy Coghill, Suzanne Peschier, JL Walling, John Sonin, Maureen Longworth, Suzie Cohen, Lea Harris, Judy Crondahl, DIPAC, Mary Miller, Steve Kallick, Natalie Watson, Karla Hart, Jana Lee Gage, Jessica Plachta, John Sisk, Jim “Stratto” Stratton, Bob Schroeder, Katie Ione Craney and Naawéiyaa Austin Ray Tagaban Ravencall | Spring 2020

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SEACC

NON-PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE

SOUTHEAST ALASKA CO N S E R V AT I O N CO U N C I L

1970

PAID

JUNEAU, AK 99801 PERMIT #107

202 0

2207 Jordan Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801 (907) 586-6942 www.seacc.org

Love Southeast? Help SEACC Achieve our 50-50 Anniversary Fundraising Goals!

YES! I want to support SEACC: o I want to set up a monthly, recurring donation of: o $5/month o $50/month

o $10/month o $100/month

o I want to make a one-time donation of: o $35 o $250

o $50 o $500

o $25/month o $_____/month o $100 o $________

To Achieve SEACC’s 50-50 Goal: o I want to set up an additional monthly, recurring donation of: o $5/month o $50/month

o $10/month o $100/month

o $25/month o $_____/month

o I want to make an additional one-time donation of: o $35 o $250

o $50 o $500

o $100 o $________

50th gifts will be processed separately. If using checks, please include separate checks.

For SEACC’s 50th Anniversary Campaign, we seek to raise $50,000 above and beyond our traditional annual gift levels and invite 50 legacy pledges to be made. Consider giving an additional one-time or monthly gift in addition to your usual SEACC donation, securing the future of Southeast Alaska’s special places for 50 years more.

SEACC archive photo

o

I want to learn more about becoming a Legacy Donor. Please send me more information.

Card # Expiration Date CVV # Name Phone Address City State Zip Email Donate online at www.seacc.org/donate or clip and send to: Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 2207 Jordan Ave, Juneau, AK 99801 Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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