S PRI NG 20 21
In This Issue...
We gratefully acknowledge the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people who stewarded the forests and waters of what is now Southeast Alaska for millennia, and who continue to do so today.
Building the Path to a Restoration Economy
Meredith Trainor........... Executive Director Maggie Rabb.................... Deputy Director Chiara D’Angelo............. Tongass Forest Program Manager Heather Evoy.................. Indigenous Engagement Lead Shannon Donahue......... Upper Lynn Canal Organizer Sally Schlichting............ Environmental Policy Analyst Conor Lendrum.............. Development & Outreach Associate Matt Jackson................... Climate Organizer Angie Erickson................ Office Manager
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.
Board of Directors
Katie Ione Craney................................. President, Haines Natalie Watson..................................... Vice-President, Juneau Bob Schroeder....................................... Treasurer, Juneau Steve Lewis............................................ Secretary, Tenakee Springs Bart Koehler.......................................... Juneau Chloey Cavanaugh............................... Juneau Clay Frick............................................... Haines Grant EchoHawk.................................. Ketchikan Naawéiyaa Austin Ray Tagaban........ Juneau Ray Sensmeier...................................... Yakutat Steve Kallick.......................................... Seattle Wayne Weihing.................................... Ketchikan
Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 2207 Jordan Avenue, Juneau, Alaska 99801 (907) 586-6942 | email@example.com | www.seacc.org
The Ravencall is a publication of SEACC Editors: Conor Lendrum & Emily Russo Miller Designer: James K Brown, Brown and Blue Cover: Malena Marvin kicks back and enjoys a ride on the ferry Cover photo by Malena Marvin
Gear UP! Wear your love for the Tongass, Inside Passage, and SEACC on your sleeve! Head over to www.seacc.square.site to purchase SEACC mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, hats and more!
Ravencall | Spring 2021
5 6 8 9 10
courtesy of Trail Mix
Meet SEACC’s New Staff and Board Members
courtesy of Chloey Cavanaugh
Together, We Can Tackle Climate Change
courtesy of 350Juneau
Clamshells Key to Cracking Cause of Contamination
SEACC archive photo
Water Poetry Contest Winners
SEACC archive photo
Learn How to Host a Facebook Fundraiser
courtesy of Bob Christensen
Executive Director’s Note Meredith Trainor I first visited Juneau’s Mendenhall
with the National Wildlife Federation,
mandate, keeping trees standing
Glacier with SEACC board member
on a timeline that dovetails with the
and carbon-rich soils undisturbed
Bob Schroeder in 2016 as he escorted
opportunity that the transitions of
has such a low opportunity cost that
me on a 48-hour Juneau highlights
this new year - political, economic,
it would be foolish to not account
tour and sales pitch, back when I
cultural, and social - present.
for this “use” as we explore new
was weighing taking the helm at SEACC. We stopped at the Mendenhall Wetlands pullout to admire the eagles, stood on his deck to take in a spring view of Douglas Island, and finally set off to walk the East Glacier trail and visit the many signs acknowledging where the glacier had sat once, long before. It was a persuasive visit, and as the years passed I’ve visited that trail again, and again. And so it was with great surprise about two years later that I realized I could visually mark where the glacier had receded from, since that first visit. The luminous ice caves of my first full Alaskan winter were long gone: they had melted away and the face had broken up. The following year, the face of the glacier no longer reached where even the cave’s midsection once stood. It is widely understood that the world’s
The 2020 presidential election and the increasingly post-pandemic world of 2021 are portents of the tremendous opportunities to make meaningful political progress on climate change that await, even as our rapidly diminishing glacier reminds us of the intense urgency of acting decisively, now. But what is meaningful progress on climate change at the scale of a region like
interpretations for what the “highest and best use” of a national forest can and should be. Transition is the name of the game for Southeast Alaska in 2021, not in terms of the old “Tongass Transition,” but in terms of our regional need to pivot and think bigger and more boldly about how conservation and climate issues can move forward hand in hand here. We’ll need the Forest
Service, Department of Agriculture,
Meaningful progress on climate in
the administration to transition now,
Southeast could and should include layering additional protections on the Tongass, as the President and administration seek to account for America’s carbon sinks and sources while establishing our nationally determined contribution to reduce national emissions and mitigate climate change, as part of the Paris
our congressional delegation, and with us, and the times. We’ve all come a long way since 2016 and the devastating political ramifications of that election year, and lived through a great deal. People, ideas and institutions all transition with time, some faster and others more glacially, than others.
Agreement. The Tongass National
I’m hopeful about opportunities
Forest contains 8% of the total
to work with the administration
change, but it had never occurred to
amount of sequestered (stored)
and our elected officials on climate
me that I would be able to observe
carbon as all forests in the lower 48
change and on protecting the Tongass
this phenomenon first-hand, in so
combined, and 44% of all carbon
National Forest, and it has been a
brief a time. The retreating visage of
stored in national forests across
long time since I could say that, and
the glacier won’t let any of us forget
the US – forests over which the
mean it. But it will still take all of us
that absent our work to address
administration has direct control. So
to keep the pressure up on our elected
it, climate change is relentless,
protecting the Tongass as a carbon
officials and to ensure progress on
constant, and its losses are manifold.
sink, and accounting for it in policy
climate is substantial, and
and statute accordingly, should be a
meaningful, in order for us
to protect our home.
climate work and staffing on climate
As we contemplate the Forest
with the support of our partnership
Service’s well-known “multiple use”
glaciers are shrinking, and in most places, retreating, due to climate
With this in mind, over the last two years at SEACC we have expanded our
photo by Warren Lynn
Ravencall | Spring 2021
The Great American Outdoors Act Building the Path to a Restoration Economy by Sally Schlichting
It was early August
of 2020, in the midst of a dreary summer in Southeast and an extraordinarily bleak year when a bright ray of sunshine broke through, almost out of nowhere. Under the sponsorship of then-Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), and with the support of all three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) raced through Congress and was promptly signed into law by then-President Trump.
the Tongass, totaling $34.4 million and leveraging an additional $44.9 million in matching dollars, providing jobs for partner organizations like municipalities, Tribes, and nonprofits for recreation, trails, watershed, and ecosystem management and more. By expanding on those resources, GAOA funding will help revitalize the post-pandemic economy in Southeast while creating new partnerships with beloved organizations like Trail Mix, Inc. in Juneau.
“The GAOA is a huge opportunity to build on recent initiatives like the Covid-19 Conservation Corps to create new partnerships,” said Natalie Dawson, Executive Director of Audubon Alaska. “As the GAOA rolls out, it will be critical that we hold the federal government accountable to ensure that funding flows to communities through such partnerships. This will make a restoration economy a reality for Southeast Alaska.” The economic benefit of such partnerships, even prior to the GAOA, is significant. Consider this: between 2011 and 2019, the Forest Service funded some 1,000 grants and agreements on
Ravencall | Spring 2021
Sustainable Trails Strategy, which will engage the public to prioritize trail projects that are economically viable, socially relevant, and environmentally resilient. This will further inform the projects that are selected for GAOA funding in future years. “A total of 24 projects — at least one in every Tongass ranger district — were selected for funding in 2021,” said Seim. “Over time, the Alaska Region anticipates roughly $14 million annually to fund projects in both the Chugach and the Tongass.” A list of Tongass projects nominated for funding in 2022 was announced in March, with public comment on project nominations for 2023 occurring this coming summer. For more on the status of GAOA projects, visit: www.fs.usda.gov. Eventually, a regional dashboard will be created so Alaskans can track projects that have been funded.
Why was it so special? Beyond the fact that it had overwhelming, bipartisan support in a divisive year, this sweeping legislation represents the largest injection of funding for our public lands in decades. The GAOA establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, depositing 50% of the revenues from all energy development on U.S. lands and waters – up to $1.9 billion annually – into the fund, for a total of $9.5 billion over the next five years, through 2025. This funding will go to deferred maintenance projects on public lands, allowing up to 15% of those funds to be used on national forest system lands, such as the Tongass National Forest.
photo by Emily Russo Miller
Jessie Harlan photo by Trail Mix
That’s why Ryan O’Shaughnessy, executive director of Trail Mix, Inc. is so excited about the opportunities to collaborate with the Forest Service on GAOA-funded work. “We’ve already joined the Juneau Ranger District on three proposals submitted for funding in 2022-23,” O’Shaughnessy said. “They include improvements to the Peterson Lake Trail, the Moraine Ecology Loop at the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, and the Eagle Glacier Trail.” Although partners like Trail Mix, Inc. must contribute a 20% match, this can be in dollars or in-kind, such as labor. Sharon Seim, Wilderness and Trails Program Manager for the Alaska Region of the Forest Service, leads the effort to identify GAOA projects, the first of which were delivered to Congress on Nov. 2, 2020. Seim also leads the development of the Tongass
No doubt, the work needed to “spruce up” the Tongass is significant. According to the Forest Service, following decades of logging and roadbuilding, over $100 million in watershed restoration work is needed and the deferred maintenance backlog for roads, bridges and other infrastructure including recreation totaled $89 million in 2018. On Prince of Wales alone, more than $10 million is needed for wildlife habitat thinning, stream restoration, and fish passage repairs throughout the island’s worldclass watersheds. GAOA funding for projects like these and countless others from Yakutat to Ketchikan will go far to spur a restoration-based economy. In return, we’ll see a healthier, more intact Tongass National Forest — one that enhances the many benefits the Tongass gives back to local residents, subsistence hunters, commercial fishermen, recreators and visitors from around the world. Sally Schlichting is SEACC’s Environmental Policy Analyst
New Faces at SEACC Chloey Cavanaugh Chiara D’Angelo Grant EchoHawk Board Director
What excites you about the future of Southeast Alaska? I am most thrilled about the many conversations about food independence and more sustainable living that I have heard in the last year. Everything from community gardens to mariculture, to protecting our salmon and herring populations, all better prepare us for a more prosperous and stable future. Equilibrium is important in any system and I am hearing a lot of great conversations about finding that balance for today and for generations to come.
What do you hope to learn through your new role with SEACC? When it comes to fostering any kind of change, it is important to always work with the most accurate and up-to-date information. Although I have followed climate science for some time what I hope to gain from my new position is even more knowledge about climate science but also various conservation efforts and legislation that will impact Alaskans for today and well into the future.
Tell us about an experience from your life that connected you to conservation. It is difficult to point to a single experience that had drawn me to conservation, as respect for our environment is a value that was instilled in me at a young age. That core principle, when paired with my eagerness for scientific knowledge, led me down a lifelong path of wanting to keep this planet as beautiful and vibrant as possible for as long as possible. I will say that as the years progressed, the urgency to make positive changes has grown to reduce climate disasters and to reduce damage to the many ecosystems that have sustained us and, if properly cared for, will continue to sustain us.
photo by Nathan Kelley
Tongass Forest Program Manager
What excites you about the future of Southeast Alaska?
What excites you about the future of Southeast Alaska?
With the technology we have access to we can communicate with so many Southeast Alaskans. This allows Southeast Alaska residents throughout all walks of life to speak on behalf of Southeast’s future. I am excited to witness that grow. It goes beyond just the ability to communicate: it’s the ability to collect data and to plan for the future with environmental consciousness. If we invest in protecting the beauty, the tradition, and the people of Southeast Alaska, our community will grow closer and our environment will flourish from us working together to do better, be better and protect this place.
While taking office, President Joseph Biden has made two meaningful national commitments that excite me for the future of SE Alaska. Biden is both rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and separately committing to the protection of 30% of U.S. lands by the year 2030. I am hopeful these commitments in tandem will help ensure a bright future for SE Alaska that includes the just transition away from polluting fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy sources, and the successful conservation of our most precious public forests while our vibrant salmon runs can continue to sustain a bountiful harvest.
What do you hope to learn through your new role with SEACC?
What do you hope to learn through your new position with SEACC?
I’m hoping to learn more about different communities and holding engaging dialogue with board and staff to learn about their experiences, what they value and their visions for the future. Learning about what I value, growing in that, has taken my whole life - I am always excited to learn from others. Each town and village is connected to this beautiful place, but each community is still unique - there is so much to learn from each other and our environments. I feel incredibly grateful to take this position with SEACC and I’m sure I’ll learn beyond what I expect to.
SE Alaska is an incredibly biodiverse and beautiful region. Over the next few months, my plan is to get to know the region’s natural beauty by safely visiting the exquisite places that make this region so special and unique. I am also very excited to get to know the local culture. Where I am from in Western Washington is fairly similar, but also in many respects totally different. I am enamored by the SE Alaskan friends I have made, and I am excited to learn more about the cultural distinctiveness and the cultural history of this region which dates back tens of thousands of years.
Tell us about an experience from your life that connected you to conservation.
Tell us about an experience from your life that connected you to conservation.
My Grandfather Archie James Cavanaugh has been a huge factor in my connection to conservation. I remember waking up most mornings to him feeding the squirrels and building little platforms in the trees for them to run around in. That stuck with me because his mindset was always the greater good for those who lived off of the environment. When he built something, he was mindful of integrating the environment into the design instead of forcing the design on the environment. From the small things like squirrels and to the big things like human life - that message stuck with me.
The easiest way to become connected to the natural desire to conserve life on earth is to become connected with the earth. At a young age, I spent a good portion of my summer in the water, and would often carry my summer swimming into the winter. I also spent time in the woods barefoot playing with plants and watching animals. This time spent in the glorious salt waters of the inland bioregion we call the Salish Sea, connected me with my passion for conservation and a desire to do anything in my power to help ensure a vibrant ecosystem for generations to come. Ravencall | Spring 2021
Climate protest organized by 350Juneau Photo by 350Juneau
US Coast Guard vessels respond to the December 2, 2020 landside in Haines Photo by Tom Ganner
Together, We Can Tackle Climate Change by Matt Jackson
Climate chaos is
becoming more and more apparent every year here in the Tongass. Whether it’s as subtle as the silence of frogs or as unmistakable as torrential landslides — and the insanity of repealing the Roadless Rule and drilling in the Arctic Refuge on top of it all — climate change impacts are weaving their way into everyday life in Southeast Alaska.
Keystone species of our region and our ways of life, like king salmon and yellow cedars, are shrinking and dying off. Myriad issues impact practically every aspect of our region, some that we are only beginning to understand and some that we may never understand. Once common amphibians like boreal toads so nF are disappearing. ick Common murres and humpback whales are washing up on our shores in devastating numbers. Droughts dry up our reserves one year, only to have a record-breaking rainy summer saturate our gardens the next. Spruce beetles and Hemlock sawflies are changing forest dynamics as the climate shifts. You’d be forgiven for feeling distressed by all this change and destruction. There’s even a word for it now “Solastalgia,” the grief caused by rapid environmental change. And yet there is hope. Our communities are strong and resilient. We are lucky to live in a region with a living tradition of stewardship going back to time immemorial, full of fishermen and forest gatherers who know the needs of the Tongass and the
Ravencall | Spring 2021
Inside Passage. And now we are working under a federal administration that appears ready to listen to them. The Biden administration has made climate one of its highest priorities, acknowledging the reality of science and the critical need for sustainable solutions right now. At SEACC, we have been following the actions of the Biden administration closely, including with our Climate Conversations series on Zoom that features Southeast Alaskans talking about climate change. In January, our first guests in our Climate Conversations series, Tyson Fick and Shawaan Gamble, talked about Biden’s ambitious “30 by 30” plan to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Tyson has spent his life fishing around the state and has observed fisheries shifting and salmon shrinking from climate change in real time. Shawaan, born and raised in Kake, has seen drastic changes to his community’s way of life from logging, and from warming oceans increasing the risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning, and changing marine mammal populations. As a watershed restoration specialist, he has experienced firsthand the need for active, Indigenous management to repair and sustain the Tongass. Though their experiences are different, both agree that it is the Alaskans closest to the land and water who need to be heard on climate action in our state.
Laguna Pueblo and one of our country’s first Indigenous Congressional Representatives. SEACC joined with new allies like Paulette Moreno of the Alaska Native Sisterhood and Joe Williams Jr. of the Alaska Native Brotherhood to advocate for her nomination before she was sworn in as Secretary of the Interior in mid-March. More than an expert in her field and a bold voice for climate action, Secretary Haaland has irreplaceable life experience. As Paulette said in our February Climate Conversations discussion, “Indigenous people have been stewarding this land for thousands of years, and we know how to keep stewarding it for thousands more.” “For the first time, we won’t have to explain what it means to be Indigenous,” to the Department of Interior, Joe finished. These online events do what SEACC has always done best: bring Southeast Alaskans together to learn from each other and take collective action. Even with the best of intentions, we cannot take it for granted that any administration will understand Southeast Alaska’s needs, and that’s why we’re making sure your voices are heard. We have already gathered hundreds of signatures and letters on topics
Next, we turned our attention to Biden’s cabinet of climate champions, especially Representative Deb Haaland, a child of the
aw an nG
Joe Williams Jr. testifying at a past hearing
Deb Haaland at robing ceremony for Remove the Stains Act in 2019
SEACC archive photo
Photo courtesy of Deb Haaland
Pho to by J
from 30 by 30 to Biden’s historic cabinet nominations, and by the time you read this we will have gathered hundreds more.
ar end av yL
But one change in administration will not solve climate change. Far from it, this crisis will require us to re-examine the very foundations of our economies and our communities. At home, our leadership is mixed, from the restrained climate realism of Senator Lisa Murkowski to the baffling climate denialism of Governor Mike Dunleavy. There is a long and rewarding road of organizing ahead of us. Even if we achieve our most ambitious goal, a far from certain prospect, the next 50 years will encompass decades of climate upheaval. But thanks to folks like you, SEACC will be here, advocating on behalf of Southeast Alaska’s most precious places.
How BIG is 600,000 acres?
Matt Jackson is SEACC’s Climate Organizer
Roughly 10% of the area of Glacier Bay National Park
King Salmon Decline
BELGIUM GERMANY LUXEMBOURG
About the same size as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
In the last 40 years
king salmon declined in length from a mean of just over 27” to 23.25”—
Yellow Cedar Decline 600,000 acres of
Yellow Cedar decline in the Tongass alone Decline has been happening since the 1880’s, but
In the same time period,
global oceans have warmed about .75° Celsius, one degree C since 1950
a 15% decrease in size
of actively declining Yellow Cedar forest were documented in
2020 Ravencall | Spring 2021
photo by Joel Bennett
Take action to protect Hawk Inlet from the toxic waste of Greens Creek Mine!
Clamshells Key to Cracking Cause of Contamination SEACC and Friends of Admiralty Island team up to
sample water quality, trace contamination in Hawk Inlet by Emily Russo Miller
half a mile from the mouth of Hawk Inlet on a warm spring day, Guy Archibald found precisely what he was looking for: rows of clamshells, the size of your palm, strewn across a raised beach. “It was the perfect strata,” Archibald, SEACC’s former Staff Scientist, recalled. “Every few feet was a preserved prehistoric beach full of clamshells.”
Clamshells hold the key to that as well. By analyzing the ratio of stable isotypes (forms of atoms) in the elements stored in the clamshells and matching it to that of a potential source of contamination, you can determine if it’s a match. Stable isotopes are akin to a fingerprint: each source has a distinctive pattern.
Most Southeast Alaskans know clams as a tasty (yet sometimes toxic) summertime shellfish treat. But these bivalve mollusks can also help scientists unlock mysteries about the marine environment they live in.
Though the study is not yet concluded and still needs to be peer reviewed, preliminary results indicate that there has been a two to three times increase in metals across the board when comparing older clamshells to contemporary ones.
Clamshells are indicators of water quality. During their lifetime, clams soak up and store any toxins and metals present in the aquatic environment into their shell. Even after a clam has died, you can still measure the water quality when it was alive by analyzing its shell.
“We analyzed the mine tailings for all its metals and stable isotype ratios,” Archibald said. “We found that the tailings match the contemporary shells, but they don’t match the older premining ones, so sure seems like that contamination could be from the tailings and not somewhere else.”
“We can create a baseline and measure trends in water quality over time by looking at clamshells, by collecting the shells, grinding them up, digesting them in acid and then analyzing them for the metals,” Archibald said. SEACC has teamed up with Friends of Admiralty Island, a nonprofit that advocates for the conservation of Admiralty Island National Monument, to do just that: sample the water quality of Hawk Inlet and attempt to trace any contamination back to its source. Congress allows mining in the national monument on the condition that it does not cause “irreparable harm” to the area. “Not only are we looking at the amount of metals over time increasing, but we’re also trying to find out what the source of those metals is. Is it coming from the natural environment, like the State of Alaska and Hecla Mining claim?
Is it coming from the mine operations themselves—or is it coming from the old cannery or other sources?” Archibald explained.
Ravencall | Spring 2021
Both the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Hecla Greens Creek Mine — which is the most profitable silver producer in the U.S. and produces the most toxic waste in Southeast Alaska, according to the Toxic Release Inventory — maintains that the increase in metals is due to natural leaching out of a highly mineralized area, and that the mine is not the cause. To that, KJ Metcalf, President of Friends of Admiralty, says, in his opinion, “bullshit.” “Our study is showing that irreparable harm is being caused to Hawk Inlet, and additional storage of those tailings not treated will only magnify that harm,” he said. “So we think that we could end up with a future site that would be comparable to any Superfund site in the United States.”
The mine should not be permitted to expand for a third time, adding 4-5 million cubic yards of acid generating tailings and waste rock and 10-15 years of operation, without first demonstrating that it has not yet caused harm to Admiralty Island National Monument and all who depend on it. Visit seacc.org/southeastwatersheds/hawk-inlet to learn about the current proposed mine expansion, sign the petition to repeat the baseline studies, and watch the short film “Irreparable Harm.” There’s only one way to know for sure what impact the mine is having on marine life in Hawk Inlet: to replicate the study that was done on the marine environment before the mine began operating in 1989. The original study was conducted with the intent to be replicated every 10-15 years to track changes in the environment, but this has not happened. “The State Department of Environmental Conservation and the mine claim that their mine is a model mine. We say it is not — but it could be,” Metcalf said. “All these things came together to prompt us to start our own study. When the state told us that the original baseline could not be replicated, we said nonsense, of course it could be.” This study, funded by Friends of Admiralty Island, marks the first time an entity independent of the mine has sampled the water quality in Hawk Inlet. The aim is to complete the study, have it peer reviewed, and publish the findings before the next mine expansion is approved. “Right now, they’ve already applied to the Forest Service for their fourth expansion of the tailings pile,” Archibald said. “So we would like to get this data in time to submit it for their consideration, and then offer alternatives. They need to come up with a more viable, environmentally protective alternative.” Archibald will head back out to collect more shells from the shores of Hawk Inlet this summer, scouring beaches and searching for the key to close the case. Metcalf said, “Clamshells are the only way that we could figure to have insight into the ancient and more recent premining water quality.” Emily Russo Miller is the former SEACC Communications Lead
What Does Water Mean To You? This spring marked SEACC’s first annual, all ages, Water Poetry Competition! People from all over Southeast Alaska sent us poems about what the water of Southeast Alaska meant to them. With categories for Elementary, Middle, High School, and 18+, here are the winners selected for each age group. We were flooded with so many incredible pieces, check out our website to see all the brave and beautiful words penned by your friends and neighbors.
The Deep Blue
by Hannah Bre ckel A ge 9
Salmon swim upstream, we fish for them in August. The waves are nice and glassy, then our bow shatter the glass. Rain falls down and turns into puddles and absorbs Into the earth. Whales sing their eerie songs then dive into the deep blue. Herring ball in tight schools to avoid being lunch. As the winter night sets in the northern lights dance across the water. I, from my window, watch the waves and ocean.
My name is Hannah Breckel, I’m 9 years old, and I live
by Genevieve Hiatt Age 16
A friend, always there to comfort in sorrow, and share in happiest of moments. Storms of rain mixed with the salty wrath of turbulent waves calming an aching mind, lulling it into submission. Dulling reality, washing away tears. Purest of elements, Water a lifeline for all that breathes and lives. The song of water allows an escape from the reality that is, to a reality that was. A memor y of childhood: floating free, no weight, just you and water. The beauty of its unpredictable tenancies, Its unforgivable destruction, Its deep love and connection. As it feeds life and nourishes.
in Sitka, AK. I was born in Kodiak, have explored nature across the US from the northeast to the southwest, but I’ve
Genevieve Hiatt is 16 and lives in Ketchikan. She enjoys reading,
always felt that Alaska is my home. I love to hike, bike,
writing, scuba diving, beachcombing, swimming in the ocean,
run, fish, and camp all over the Tongass.
and strolls at night.
Ocean of Activity by Angela Bahna 7th Grade
Off the islands of Alaska’s Southeast Lies an ocean, wide and released Full of amazing activities So many possibilities! Go Kayaking through Or go swimming too! The ocean is meant for me and you Take a boat out Find whales and their spouts Catch Coho and King Think about the dinner it’ll bring! As Sitkans of Alaska, we love our ocean Many find it full of emotion So now you can see Stop dumping the debris For Sitka’s ocean is meant for you and me.
Silt of our Past and Present by Shaelene Grace Moler University of Alaska Southeast
I watch their bare feet sink into the mudflats of their ancestors. I imagine the cool, grainy mud sliding between their toes. I smell the seeping stench of rotten eggs from the many creatures who inhabit it. The mud was carried from the streams our ancestors once fished. They’d skin their salmon near the creek, hang the fillets, and lay the skeleton on the bank facing upstream, “so their souls would find their way home.” They feel a prickle from something hidden within, a mussel, a crab, a snail, a clam? They giggle at its’ touch; so young, so unaware.
Shaelene Grace Moler is a Southeast Alaskan Native writer whose greatest passions include creative writing, subsistence
I was born on the east coast of the United States, and
gathering, and exploring the wilderness. She grew up and
moved to Sitka Alaska when I was 4 years old. For the
currently lives in the small town of Kake, AK, and is an
past almost 9 years staying in Alaska I've enjoyed hiking,
English and Environmental Studies double-major
fishing, and exploring our beautiful beaches.
at the University of Alaska Southeast. Ravencall | Spring 2021
photo by Colin Arisman
Fundraising with Facebook? Last year two SEACC supporters hosted
photo courtesy of Darcie Ziel
two separate Facebook birthday fundraisers, turning to their friends, family, and community to raise a total of $2,305. Moved by these acts of generosity in the name of SEACC’s 50th anniversary, we spoke with Andy Paul and Darcie Ziel to discuss how connections with each other and connections with the mission intersect, overlap, and weave together.
photo courtesy of Andy Paul
As somebody who has spent quite a bit of time in Southeast Alaska, it’s cool to share how much I personally value people caring about the area even though they may or may not have a personal connection to it. It feels like an easy sell too: the biggest national forest, one of the world’s most special carbon sequesters, primary growth being so limited across the planet, I feel like that’s not too challenging, for people who care genuinely about environmental issues and climate change it’s an easy pitch. It’s just such a special region. I think there’s something really powerful about affirmational recognition. Like when someone came out of the woodwork to support me, I followed up with “I know you’ve never been to Southeast but I hope you know your contribution means so much, because it’s so much bigger than that zone.” While you all are obviously a locally focused nonprofit, zooming out, primary growth forest is really important and it feels special to me to connect with people that I didn’t previously think cared. I work in the community organizing and public advocacy space and it’s been fun for me to connect those skills to help the work of SEACC. I’m such a fan of the work and really believe that Southeast is a critical zone for our country and the whole planet. You all have been doing good for a long time in terms of multi-stakeholder engagement, climate change, while conserving a pretty special place. It’s a small non-profit, you all are lean but mighty.
Ravencall | Spring 2021
Darcie Ziel I have a strong connection with conservation because I grew up in Tenakee during the time of big clearcut logging in the inlet and lots of activism on the part of my parents and the community. I’m very aware of the impact of clearcutting on our watershed and the karst landscape. As a kid I was writing letters to congress with my mom's encouragement. Under other circumstances I'd probably be more active in conservation but I like the idea of doing the birthday fundraiser. It's a great resource to take advantage of, to use that connection that people are looking for to support a cause that matters to you. I think that a lot of us are in the habit of not talking about politics. SEACC may not seem like politics but to some people it is. If we can get back to the comfort of having conversations with our friends and learning what peoples' values are I think that we find more in common than we know. I like to really get down to peoples' "why." I feel like for most people living in Southeast you can get down to their “why” they would potentially support SEACC. I'm a nurse and do wellness coaching and a big part of wellness is getting outside. In Southeast Alaska we just have this incredible opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature. It brings me joy to see people change their life for the better. Seeing people more invested in their community and their natural habitat we're all living in brings that joy to me.
Thank you Andy and Darcie for supporting SEACC!
Impact The Future of SEACC We sat down with long-time SEACC supporter and former board and staff member, Katya Kirsch, for some first-hand information from a committed legacy donor. You’ve been working with SEACC and other groups doing conservation work in SE Alaska for a long time with some powerful achievements to show for it. I started out in Haines in the mid-1970s, went into a meeting of Lynn Canal Conservation (LCC) and ended up as Secretary of the Board that day! Those were my early years cutting my teeth on a lot of great issues. That was back when we were fighting for creation of the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. I was very involved with LCC in Haines where I lived for many years. LCC was a member group of SEACC, and I got on the SEACC board around 1990. I went to DC for a month and lobbied for the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA) in 1989), around the same time that the Exxon-Valdez ran aground, and the Sitka mill was being sued for keeping double books; about 26 co-sponsors for TTRA signed on! I was in the fight to protect the Tatshenshini-Alsek when corporations wanted to put the world’s largest copper mine there. It was a big battle, SEACC was involved, LCC was involved; we won and protected those wildlands! I was Board President for much of the 1990s, interim Executive Director (ED) in 1994-1995, and ED from 1999 to 2002.
How would you introduce the idea of legacy giving to someone who’s not familiar with the idea? There was a SEACC board member named Dixie Baade who left a legacy gift to SEACC in the early years. She lived in Petersburg. The money was kept in a separate account and at a certain point we needed to fight hard to protect particular Tongass wildlands, and we thought ‘what would Dixie want us to do with her money?’ And we used the money to wage a successful fight. I think it’s a great way to look at a legacy gift—being able to actually protect real places that the gift-giver cared about. If you have kids and you want to leave the majority of your estate to them, think about leaving 10% to non-profits, like SEACC, that are doing work that you really care about. To me, the Tongass standing tall and healthy with wildlife abounding for many generations to come is a wonderful way to leave at least part of one’s legacy.
Support SEACC’s Work Today Join Us
A healthy Southeast Alaska is a healthy future. Share $35 or more with SEACC today to keep old-growth standing and wild waters clean. Visit seacc.org/donate.
As practice makes a master, so too do small donation add up to big differences. Sign up for recurring monthly, quarterly, or annual donations for any amount at seacc.org/donate.
Plan for the Long Term
Look to the future, like Katya, and pledge a portion of what you can’t take with you to SEACC, or reach out to Deputy Director Maggie Rabb (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn about stock donations, IFQs, or how best to make your legacy the Tongass’s legacy.
Thank You, Business Partners Glacier By Sea Kayaks, Gustavus
Baranof Wilderness Lodge, Sitka Art Matters, Juneau
How did you come to the decision to become a SEACC legacy donor?
Rainbow Glacier Adventures, Haines
When working for SEACC, I helped establish the legacy program, so it was just a natural thing. The bottom line is I care deeply about the wild places and wildlife of Southeast Alaska and SEACC is doing the work to protect those wild places.
Tongass Kayak Adventures, Petersburg
I’m an avid sea kayaker, and I’ve seen wild creatures—whales, sea lions, seals, bears, moose, and deer while paddling and camping. Some of my favorite places are gems—Tebenkof Bay on Kuiu Island, Seymour Canal along the Mansfield Peninsula, Mitchell Bay near Angoon, and White Sulphur near Pelican. I could go on and on with the trips I’ve done. SEACC has protected magnificent and large amounts of places already, but there is more critical habitat that still needs protection. One thing that’s super critical is the importance of retaining the old growth forest of Southeast Alaska as a carbon sink to slow the effects of climate change. I’m very, very grateful for all the protection that SEACC has already brought to Southeast Alaska.
Thank You to Our Volunteers
We’re a grassroots organization, then, now, and always, and these volunteers have stepped up during difficult times to keep our work going. Ryland Bell, Andrei Horincar, Father Séamus Finn (OMI), Chelsea Mckenzie, Jodi Mitchell, Robert Stamm, KJ Metcalf, Janine Gibbons, Jackie Hanson, Elana Cranston, Wendy Byrnes, Jordana Grant, Jason House, Dawna Hull, John Holst, Benjamin White, Casey Demmert, Cassee Olin, Chris Voron, Jill Lecrone, Laura Rogers, Mandy Summer, Sondra Lundvick, Tyler McCarty, Jeremy Lavender, Heather Holt, John Sonin, Grant EchoHawk, Hunter Mallinger, LuAnn McVey, Dan Cannon, Kay McCarthy
50th Anniversary Party Announcement:
Keep an eye out for more details about our September, 2021 anniversary party in Juneau, Alaska!
We are keeping our fingers crossed for a safer summer: watch our website and social media for the return of SEACC Summer Bonfires!
photo courtesy of Katya Kirsch
Ravencall | Spring 2021
NON-PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE
JUNEAU, AK 99801 PERMIT #107
2207 Jordan Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801 (907) 586-6942 www.seacc.org
Check out our new website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to connect with the SEACC community and keep up to date on the issues!
Ravencall photo by Heather Holt
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