Ravencall Fall/Winter 2022/2023

Page 1


FALL 2022 / WINTER 2023

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.

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, Nt’oyaxsn, and thank you, SEACC


Meredith Trainor Executive Director

Maggie Rabb Deputy Director

Maranda Hamme

Tongass Forest Program Manager

Matt Jackson Climate Program Manager

Aaron Brakel

Inside Passage Waters Program Manager

Heather Evoy Indigenous Engagement Lead

Shannon Donahue Upper Lynn Canal Organizer

Katie Rooks Environmental Policy Analyst

Lauren Cusimano Communications Lead

Mel Izard

Development and Outreach Associate

Raylynn Lawless 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

Natalie Watson President, Juneau

Grant EchoHawk

Vice-President, Ketchikan

Bob Schroeder Treasurer, Juneau

Steve Lewis Secretary, Tenakee Springs

Kashudoha Wanda Loescher Culp


Clay Frick Haines

Steve Kallick


Bart Koehler Juneau

Ray Sensmeier


Naawéiyaa Austin Ray Tagaban Juneau

Wayne Weihing Ketchikan

Judy Daxootsu Ramos


Michelle Andulth Meyer Seattle

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 2207 Jordan Avenue, Juneau, Alaska 99801 907-586-6942


The Ravencall

Lauren Cusimano

Mel Izard

James K Brown, Brown and Blue

Maranda Hamme


6 8 9 10

Remembering Donald Ross


Wear your love for the Tongass, Inside Passage, and SEACC on your sleeve! Head over to seacc.square.site to purchase SEACC bumper stickers, hats, T-shirts, and more!

2 Ravencall | Fall 2022 / Winter 2023
by Sydney Ribera
| info@seacc.org |
is a publication of SEACC Editor:
Cover Photo:
In This Issue...
update from SEACC’s busy travel season
Niblack’s past, present, and
possible future
Checking in with the Chilkat Valley 11
a deer summit is needed on POW
photo by Derek Poinsette photo by Colin Arisman photo courtesy of Google Earth photo courtesy of Sydney Ribera photo by Maranda Hamme photo courtesy of NYPIRG A
guide to four Alaska climate policies
photo by Kaitlyn Fowler Meet Maranda, Tongass Forest Program Manager 4

Executive Director’s Note

As I’ve mentioned here before, SEACC staff and board write these Ravencall pieces fairly early to get them edited, printed, and distributed to mailboxes, coffee shops, and Southeast businesses on time. This can lead to a bit of prognostication, and perhaps a little bit of crystal ball work, as we seek to anticipate what we’ll feel and see in an upcoming season.

I’ve rarely been so grateful for some inadvertent procrastination on my writerly duties as I am this morning, as just 48 hours ago, the state had yet to certify the Special Election in which we Alaskans elected our first-ever Alaska Native woman, Mary Peltola, to the House of Representatives, to finish off Representative Young’s term.

Now, SEACC is a 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse political candidates, so I’m not endorsing anyone here (let’s be real, real clear about that).

But for historic firsts – for the election to Congress of the first Alaska Native person, and Alaska Native woman – and for the Top Four + Ranked Choice Voting process used to get her there … can I get a WOOHOO!?

For months, political geeks like myself have been reading about how the House and Senate will likely change hands during the midterms, and how the return of He Who Shall Not Be Named (so, yes, Voldemort) is a serious risk. And frankly, that prospect has made things feel a bit heavier lately, and obscured some of the light and joy we should otherwise be reveling in as conservation- and climate-forward bills, rules, and programs have been announced, advanced, and funded by the current administration.

The landmark election of the first Alaska Native member of Congress this year should remind all of us that there’s always reason for hope, and always a reason to do the work to get good people with integrity into office. As well, it’s a good reminder to never let the doom and gloomers (nor the polls!) get to us. Of late, I’ve heard too many people, whose political analysis I regard, preemptively roll over, abandoning hope and assuming all will certainly be lost this election cycle. In an effort to make a theoretical impending loss less painful, these folks assume we can’t possibly prevail in this midterm or the next presidential election, and that rollbacks of the bills and rules we hold in highest esteem are therefore all but inevitable. And I’m just not here for that worldview. It doesn’t get us anywhere.

This Ravencall will reach SEACC supporters’ homes as we enter election season, and I am here to remind you: it’s a weird world right now, in an even weirder moment in history, and anything is possible - if we work for it. The 2022 midterm election could well go down as the emphatic endorsement of forwardthinking climate bills, promising executive orders, and the expected endorsement of the national Roadless Rule in Alaska, that many of us want it to be. So stop with all the doom and gloom, and let’s get to work, eh?

During a recent event SEACC put on with National Wildlife Federation, I noted that the same people who say your voice or vote has no power are the ones who are afraid of what will happen if you realize they do and that our voices, votes, and organized grassroots power can shape the future, protect our region’s beloved natural places, and even reform the way

we run elections. After saying so, I was struck by how much I believe it.

So as we roll into this electoral season — and things get feisty or dispiriting; as we get saturated by ads; as the pundits chatter and the pollsters prognosticate — don’t forget that we got this.

Whether the electoral outcomes favor our bills, goals, and region, or they don’t; whether the court system can be relied upon for a last line of defense, or whether it’s time for a rethink on how we stop the bad and expedite the good, we will find our way if we step up to do the work, use our voices, and vote.

Next month, grab your friends, get to the polls, and VOTE.


P.S. Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Back in 2016, some brilliant humans stuck a ballot initiative out there that automatically registers Alaskans when they apply for the PFD. Some other brilliant humans (that would be us) voted for it. So if you got that whopper of a PFD this fall, pay it forward by getting to your polling station to vote.

“I Voted” sticker created by Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee for the State of Alaska Division of Elections in 2020. More designs are available to view and download at elections.alaska.gov.

• For polling locations: elections.alaska.gov/election-polls

voter status:

3Fall 2022 / Winter 2023 | Ravencall
photo by Maranda Hamme

Meet SEACC’s New Tongass Forest Program Manager

Hey, I’m Maranda,

a Tlingit from Keex’ Kwaan, Kake, and a lifelong resident of Southeast Alaska. I was raised on Prince of Wales Island and grew up like any other rural Southeast island kid. I spent my summers at culture camps and catching salmon with my sister at the creek with just a dip net and our bicycles. On the weekends, our dad would take us sportfishing for king salmon, but if the fishing was slow we would go hunting. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have grown up with the inherent knowledge and traditional values passed down to me.

As a young adult, I worked as a deckhand longlining and salmon purse seining. On the F/V Silver Dawn, we went as far south as Dixon Entrance and north to Juneau. We traveled from fishing communities with huge cruise ships to small villages with just a dock to tie up to for the night, to untouched bays and islands stretching across the region.

This is how I began to see just how unique Southeast truly is and learned why some places should remain untouched and protected.

In 2016, I sought out more. I started a position within a local Tribe’s environmental department. I spent five years working specifically on local, Tribal, and regional environmental issues. There, my passion for protecting our lands, waters, and resources became more ingrained as I developed a stronger understanding of our region’s history and environmental changes.

I then started looking for roles that would allow me to be fully involved in conservation and community organizing. I was thrilled, to say the least, when SEACC asked me to join them as the Tongass Forest Program Manager in March.

Since, the Tongass program has increased awareness and petitioned against the timber bill called SB85 in the Senate and HB98 in the House — a bill that tried to open the door to round log export, in turn risking hurting local jobs and forcing small timber operators to compete with global markets.

reached several newspapers. We’ve organized community events like town halls and trivia nights, along with tabling many festivals around Southeast. I was able to attend the Whale Pass Fourth of July celebration, the Coffman Cove “By The Sea” Arts and Seafood Festival, and Alaska Bearfest in Wrangell. It was great to talk in-person with people about Southeast issues that are particularly important to them!

We celebrated the state’s long overdue recognition of Alaska Tribes, the House passage of the Roadless Area Conservation Act, and the signing of President Biden’s Earth Day Executive Order — Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies — which directed the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture to create an inventory of mature and old-growth forests on federal lands.

We’ve also elevated the voices of Whale Pass residents who oppose a state timber sale in their area by assisting with an op-ed titled, “‘Shut up and take it’ says the State of Alaska to Whale Pass” which

We also look forward to joining partners and community residents in bringing together the Prince of Wales Unit 2 Deer Summit in Craig this October (more on that on Page 9). We’ll also be co-hosting a virtual public information webinar about Biden’s Earth Day Executive Order and its relevance to the Tongass with select panelists. And we of course anticipate the U.S. Forest Service’s final publication of the Roadless Rule litigation this November.

As a lifelong Alaska native local to Southeast, I look forward to continuing to meet with our supporters. Together we’ll work toward improving Southeast while caring for our lands, waters, and resources … as we always have.



Ravencall | Fall 2022 / Winter 2023
photo by Maranda Hamme

Four Ways You and the Alaska Legislature Can Make a Difference on Climate Change

Alaska’s climate, and economy, are changing. The clock is ticking. And despite all odds, there’s actually something the Alaskan legislature can realistically do about it.

There are four policies the legislature could pass in 2023 to make a difference on climate change and help us thrive through the transition to a sustainable economy.

For your reference, the four policies are outlined below. SEACC will be campaigning for each of them.

Policy No. 1

Extend the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) to keep powering Alaska’s next economy.

Since 2008, the REF has invested $282 million in Alaskan nonprofit utilities, resulting in more than 95 operational projects and $158 million in matching funds.

But the REF is due to expire in 2023 without a legislative extension. The legislature needs to extend this critical program for another 10 years and increase REF’s funding, so it can invest at the scale our communities need.

Policy No. 2

Establish a Green Bank to grow the demand for clean energy.

Green Banks fund things like heat pump programs and electric car charger systems that are good for our wallets and good for Alaska.

A green bank bill was introduced by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy in 2022. But it proposed putting the Green Bank within the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) — a controversial state agency that focuses on heavy industrial projects like the proposed and problematic Lutak Ore Dock in Haines.

Placing the Green Bank in a communityoriented agency like the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation would put it, and Alaskans, on the path to success.

Policy No. 3

Fix Power Cost Equalization (PCE).

The PCE is a critical and necessary support for rural communities that have relied on diesel for power. However, it has an unintended consequence that often punishes utilities for switching to renewables.

This happens because PCE subsidizes rural utilities for the money they spend on diesel. So when utilities switch to renewables, they save some money but often the money saved is less than the PCE subsidy they used to receive. This leads to higher bills and encourages reliance on PCE instead of developing energy independence.

The answer? Update the PCE formula to encourage the switch to renewables while continuing to support rural utilities.

Policy No. 4

Enact a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

An RPS would set realistic goals and deadlines for Railbelt (i.e. the Homer to Fairbanks interconnected grid) utilities to achieve an energy transition.

Communities in Southeast Alaska won’t be on the Railbelt, but its emissions still impact our climate and we are deeply interconnected with the Railbelt economy. The governor introduced an RPS bill in 2022, so this should be an achievable win in 2023.

Together these four policies position Alaska’s communities and economies to thrive in the energy transition, and SEACC has opportunities for you to support each of them at seacc.org/climate

The Green Bank and RPS policies were introduced as bills by Gov. Dunleavy in 2022. The REF is a wildly popular and effective grant program expiring in 2023, and PCE reform is a no-brainer that will save the state money in the long term.

Climate action is possible, even in the state’s current legislative climate. We just need your action to push it over the finish line in 2023. Stay tuned for more opportunities on how you can do so.

5Fall 2022 / Winter 2023 | Ravencallphoto by Colin Arisman

SEACC’s Back, Tell a Friend

Southeast Alaska

is known for its close-knit communities. Organized villages, fishing towns, beloved neighborhoods, remote islands, and Alaska’s capital city create a region distinct from the rest of the state, country, even world. At SEACC, advocating for these communities, cultures, and ways of life is literally part of our mission. Yet, as with countless others, we were cut off from our Southeast Alaska communities and one another for more than two years.

But beginning in spring 2022, the SEACC team — some old, many new — started traveling again. We hopped ferries and seaplanes to commercial airliners and catamarans to get back into Southeast communities. Our travel season kicked off by holding a town hall and coffeeshop hours in Ketchikan, followed in quick succession with trips to Prince of Wales, Petersburg, and Wrangell.

Armed with our event agendas, factsheets, free tide books and Ravencall issues, and some gear for sale, we were finally seeing our supporters — current and prospective — in person again.

Samara and Heather at Angoon Community Cleanup photo by Aaron Brakel

Heather Evoy on KIC Unuk River Trip courtesy of Ketchikan Indian Community

Friends of Whale Pass photo by Maranda HammeAaron, Matt, and Heather at YAAW KOO ' EEX, in Sitka photo by Judah Haven Marr Sydney and Laurenat Southeast AlaskaState Fair in Haines photo by Mel Izard
6 Ravencall | Fall 2022 / Winter 2023

Leaving Southeast AlaskaState Fair

Maranda and Katie at"By the Sea" Arts and SeafoodFestival in Coffman Cove photo by Aaron Brakel

In Juneau, we reinstated our summer bonfire series, meeting and snacking together in places like the Yéil/Raven Shelter at Auke Rec and Sandy Beach. In Haines, a group of SEACCers camped in the rain to talk with Southeast Alaska State Fair-goers while another set jetted back to Ketchikan for Blueberry Fest. We talked with Sen. Lisa Murkowski at the Little Norway Festival, Senator Jesse Kiehl in the Chilkat Valley, and citizens of Angoon following an organized landfill cleanup.

Now we are finally — though often from behind a mask — physically talking with Indigenous community leaders as well as fishermen, hunters, scientists, small saw-millers, hikers, paddlers, business owners, and straight-up residents of Southeast about issues important to them.

Sometimes the best way to tell the story of a summer’s worth of travel and time spent in community is not through words, but images. Here’s what the 2022 SEACC summer looked like.

Lauren Cusimano is SEACC’s

Little Norway 2022,Aaron Brakel with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and friend photo by Aaron Brakel

Matt Jackson at SEACCTown Hall in Ketchikan photo by Katie Rooks

SEACC June Bonfire in Juneau photo by Lauren Cusimano

7Fall 2022 / Winter 2023 | Ravencall
Communications Lead

Niblack: Agency Mismanagement and an Acid Rock Problem

The Niblack Project

— a copper-gold-zinc-silver mining exploration project on Prince of Wales Island — is a story of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) mismanaging a modern mining exploration project. It’s a case study of how a mine can become a toxic waste site dumping poisoned effluent into clean Alaska waters despite a permitting system installed to protect Alaska’s waters. It’s both a cautionary tale and a problem that needs to be addressed.

Niblack Mining Corp. received permits to tunnel underground for exploration in 2007. With sulfide rock in their route, a plan was formed to deal with Potentially Acid Generating (PAG) rock by temporarily storing it on a lined and covered pad on the surface, returning it underground at the two-year project’s end. Initially, regulators arguably did fine. Niblack used qualified consultants and received a permit for a temporary lined waste rock pile. A Land Application Discharge (LAD) system was designed to drip water from the tunnel and PAG pile through pipes onto the forest floor. The LAD system allowed Niblack to avoid applying for an Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) permit to discharge to surface waters. A chemical water treatment plant was also built on site.

But with project construction, cracks in the DEC-approved plan appeared. The PAG site, according to a May 2008 inspection report, lacked protective fill in the bedding below the liner and the vehicle service layer above. Despite regulators’ misgivings about site conditions, including use of a thinner backslope liner material, allowances were given because of the PAG pile’s intended short life. The pile was also supposed to be sprayed with an impervious polymer cover to prevent rainwater infiltration that could lead to acid-generating conditions.

That never happened. Worse things followed.

By October 2008, underground exploration was over. It was time to haul the PAG rock back underground and seal the adit with a waterproof concrete plug. Instead, new owner CBR Gold Corp. placed the project into temporary closure. In January 2009, it requested the state’s permission to leave the PAG pile uncovered and exposed to precipitation with “large-scale kinetic testing” as the flimsy excuse.

Inexplicably, the state acquiesced. The pile was left exposed. By June 2009, CBR Gold had entered into a sale agreement for the property and management changed hands again.

In the 13 years since DEC allowed the pile to be left uncovered, the PAG rock has dropped in pH. The resulting weak sulphuric acid has begun leaching toxic

metals from the now-exposed rock surfaces.

With water quality deteriorating and the new owners claiming hardship in keeping the LAD drip system operational, DEC authorized polluted water to be discharged directly into marine waters at Moira Sound. DEC then attempted to expand the new mixing zone by 10 times and double the level of copper discharged daily. The chemical water treatment plant remains unused; too costly to staff and operate according to DEC. Meanwhile, new ownership has appeared, again.

While various owners have cut their losses and moved on, Alaska is left with highly toxic metals-laden effluent pouring into its waters — all authorized and abetted by an agency charged with protecting those waters. No state agency should be left to make such poor decisions unchallenged. And no mining project should be sold off with a developing toxic mess left behind.

SEACC and Earthjustice filed for an informal review of the latest discharge permit, which was remanded in June 2022 with special attention to the antidegradation and anti-backsliding provisions of the Clean Water Act. As of this writing, no decision has been made on the permit remand.

Now, Niblack’s current owner Blackwolf Copper and Gold could receive up to $125 million for construction of a mine at Niblack and an associated processing facility in Ketchikan.

The financier? The state. But with a toxic waste pile needlessly leaching metals into Moira Sound, we at SEACC think there might be other things to focus on.

8 Ravencall | Fall 2022 / Winter 2023
photo courtesy of Google Earth

Co-Hosting the Prince of Wales Island Unit 2 Deer Summit

As the green forest

floor dies back and golden chanterelles emerge, I can’t help but think about the vital role our old-growth forest plays for our wildlife, habitat, and climate.

As you may know, Sitka Black-tailed Deer rely heavily on our old-growth forests during harsher winter months. The older forest’s canopy cover prevents heavy snow from getting too deep while providing just enough light for forage access to woody brush and shrubs.

On Prince of Wales Island, we continue to see large tracts of old-growth disappear within the Unit 2 game management area, which includes Prince of Wales Island and multiple smaller nearby islands, particularly those to the big island’s west. This means maintaining the remaining old-growth forests is critical for sustaining healthy deer populations.

For many POW residents, our prized and beloved Sitka Black-tailed Deer is a staple for many families. As the island is only accessible by small plane, boat, or ferry, and has little to no options for fresh produce and meat, many residents live off the land as a way of life. Therefore, a rough hunting season means a heavy burden for families here.

It’s common to hear about predation, regulation, and habitat as it relates to our Sitka Black-tailed Deer, but what is precisely causing the decline in deer

populations on Unit 2? Is there even a decline? We’re hoping to bring some of these questions to life through discussion at the Prince of Wales Island Unit 2 Deer Summit from October 13 to 15 in Craig.

This summit has been in the works for a while now, so I’m looking forward to it finally coming together this year — and in person, too. I’m also excited to announce the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s part in cosponsoring the POW Unit 2 Deer Summit. This may not be the first event of its kind on POW, as the island has had many forms of deer symposiums and natural resources events over time. However, the overall goal of this summit is to bring together scientists, land and wildlife managers, hunters, and community members to share information and discuss factors that truly influence the deer population on the island.

The summit will offer special presentations and discussions throughout the day on specific factors including socio-cultural impacts and the aforementioned thoughts on predation, habitat, and regulation. In addition, the event will kick off with a community dinner and offer a special field trip to Harris River Trail to talk about habitat succession post-logging.

The Prince of Wales Island Unit 2 Deer Summit will take place at the Craig

Tribal Hall at 1330 CraigKlawock Highway. It will run from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 13, then from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, October 14, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 15.

No registration is required as this event is completely free. So, if you find yourself on POW while reading this in mid-October, please, come join us. We look forward to the discussion folks will bring.

If we missed you, please be sure to check SEACC’s social media accounts or sign up for our email alerts to get a recap from the Tongass Forest Program Manager — aka me!

Gunalchéesh to the steering committee and cosponsors who made the POW Unit 2 Deer Summit possible. We at SEACC would like to thank the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Prince of Wales Tribal Conservation District, the Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council, The Nature Conservancy, the United State Forest Service, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the residents of Prince of Wales Island.

Maranda Hamme is SEACC’s Tongass Forest Program Manager

9Fall 2022 / Winter 2023 | Ravencall
photos by Maranda Hamme

SEACC Remembers Donald Ross

Donald Ross, a long-time friend of SEACC, Tongass strongheart, and lifelong conservation leader and strategist passed away on May 14, 2022. After over 40 years of steadfastly working with a donor and dear friend to support our work to save the Tongass, I learned he was a great man with a big heart, clear vision, and a staunch love of Alaska. We miss him already. — Meredith

These thoughts and reminiscences were presented by Jim Stratton, former SEACC executive director from 1981 to 1984, Bart Koehler, SEACC board member and former executive director from 1984 to 1990 and 1995 to 1999, and Steve Kallick, board member and former SEACC attorney from 1985 to 1990.

The Genesis of the Tongass Timber Reform Act

The Group of 10 — heads of 10 major national environmental groups — came to Alaska for a tour in August 1986. In the wake of the Alaska Lands Act passage in 1980, they were interested in how the bill was being implemented and what challenges remained for protecting Alaska. Interest in the Tongass was very high.

Hosted by the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the meeting was funded by the Kendall Foundation and the Rockefeller Family Fund. So as a funder, Donald was along for the ride. Both Kendall and RFF were huge supporters of Alaska grassroots environmental groups in the first decade after the Alaska Lands Act was passed. Donald astutely recognized the opportunity we had to ensure millions of acres stayed protected, but only if the groups in Alaska remained strong. He remained committed to Alaska’s grassroots activism for decades.

Donald understood the need to amend the Lands Act to remove the Tongass’ 450 million board foot annual timber mandate.

When the Group of 10 arrived in Juneau, SEACC executive director Bart Koehler presented them with a detailed campaign plan for Congressional action to repeal the 450 mandate. Donald picked up a copy and read it on the flight home to New York. The following Monday, Donald called me at Alaska Conservation Foundation and asked if Bart could really pull off this campaign. “Of course he can,” was my reply, and that launched funding for the effort that resulted in the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA) of 1990.

Donald made a commitment to ACF that RFF would provide funding for SEACC to lead the 450 reform effort and he would find other foundations to financially help. For the next five years, he did just that.

On Losing a Dear, Longstanding Big-Hearted Guardian Angel

I first met Donald back in 1985. He was working as the “point man” for the Rockefeller Family Fund when the Group of 10 (see left) went on a whirlwind fact-finding tour of Alaska. By the time they landed in Juneau, everyone was exhausted and went to their hotel rooms to collapse. All except Donald, who was chomping at the bit to get airborne and see our nation’s largest, wettest, national forest on the next day’s overflight of the Tongass. Donald bounced around the plane from window to window to get the best views and learn firsthand the daunting challenges faced by SEACC and its supporters.

Out of that high-ranking group of funders, Donald was the first to deliver a major grant to SEACC — a pivotal grant that allowed us to base two Alaskans full-time in Washington, D.C., and travel the U.S. presenting on the mismanagement of the Tongass. After years of debate in D.C., President George H.W. Bush signed the Tongass Timber Reform Act into law on November 28, 1990. The tide had turned. Donald never wavered from his steadfast advocacy for funding SEACC’s underdog campaign to stop the liquidation of precious Tongass old-growth that the Forest Service was carrying out at breakneck speed. In short, Donald’s grants helped SEACC attract additional funder support to make the impossible possible. Donald’s activist philanthropy went beyond the TTRA. His tangible legacy, after decades of finding money for underdog groups in Alaska and around the U.S., is the hundreds more wilderness areas and countless more National Conservation Areas and Special Management Areas protected by law — all amounting to tens of millions of acres permanently safeguarded from new roads and logging across the nation.

I could go on and on about Donald, our guardian angel. — B.K.

50-Year Contracts and Roadless

After Donald Ross helped set SEACC up to pass the TTRA in 1990, he continued his role as a quiet, behindthe-scenes defender of the forest and champion of SEACC. TTRA marked a turning point in the multi-generational battle for the Tongass. But it didn’t go far enough — leaving the 50-year pulp mill contracts in place and changing but not ending the logging mandate — and even before the ink was dry the timber industry began clawing back the concessions we’d fought so hard to win.

Donald never took his eye off the ball, however. Just a couple of years later he helped advise a group of donors, working with Jim Stratton and John Sisk, to create the Alaska Rainforest Campaign and help SEACC end the 50-year contracts and beat back 17 Congressional proposals to roll back TTRA.

But Donald still wasn’t done. In 1998, he quietly helped convince The Pew Charitable Trusts to organize and fund a nationwide campaign to protect all the 58.5 million acres of remaining Forest Service roadless areas. The biggest benefit of that policy would be in Southeast Alaska, and Donald encouraged Pew and other environmental groups not to give up on including the Tongass in the final Roadless policy.

Even after that, Donald continued helping keep the Roadless Rule in place and assuring it protected the Tongass. He never wavered in his love for the forest, his trust in and support for SEACC, and his faith that Americans will always protect our national treasures if given the opportunity. Millions of acres of the Tongass still stand as a tribute to his good work. It’s our job now to honor that incredible legacy. —  S.K.

10 Ravencall | Fall 2022 / Winter 2023
— J.S.
photo by Bruce Gilbert

Support SEACC’s Work Today

Join Us

A healthy Southeast Alaska is a healthy future. Donate $35 or more to SEACC today to keep old-growth standing and Alaskan waters clean.

See seacc.org/donate

Sustain Us

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

You can leave legacy or long-term gifts directly with SEACC’s Action Fund, a critical and accessible reserve fund that our board can spend directly on immediate needs.

Visit seacc.org/legacy

You can also make a donation to the R.J. Gordon & R.T. Wallen Fund for SEACC at the Juneau Community Foundation, an endowment fund which generates an annual percentage that we incorporate into our annual budget.

Visit bit.ly/gordon-wallen-fund

Other Ways to Give

Reach out to SEACC Deputy Director Maggie Rabb with any questions or to learn about Stock Donations, IFQs, and other ways to give: maggie@seacc.org.

The Proposed Palmer Mine

Ongoing Threat to the Chilkat Watershed’s Abundance

Autumn embraces the Chilkat Watershed with a splendor unique to this northern corridor, an area that bridges the lush Tongass rainforest and the crisp subarctic Interior. Birch and cottonwood leaves flash golden above the milky turquoise of the Chilkat River, while highbush cranberries ripen red, hanging heavy on their stems. Black and brown bears make their way up and down the mountainsides, choosing between the sweet abundance of blueberries, and the nourishing, oily salmon that fill the rivers. Subsistence hunters practice moose calls, our Canadian neighbors fish for coho salmon, mushroom baskets spill over, and kitchen windows fog with pressure canner steam.

Fall and early winter put the Chilkat Watershed’s unique character on display. A combination of hydrogeological factors including deep gravel layers beneath the riverbeds, warm water percolating up through those layers, and a fast, narrow channel pinched between two opposing alluvial fans, results in a river system that never fully freezes, even as winter temperatures drop lower than the Tongass’ temperate marine climate.

Coho and chum salmon advance up the river system, on their final journey home to spawn. Bald eagles migrate from around the region, their numbers increasing by the day, into the thousands. Because the river system never fully freezes, chum and coho will continue up the Chilkat long after runs across Southeast have ended — salmon can be found in the river almost year-round.

But despite this spectacular ecological abundance, the Chilkat is Southeast Alaska’s least protected watershed.

The proposed Palmer Mine threatens the Chilkat with heavy metals and acid mine drainage. Aggressive timber sales, a proposed ore terminal, and highway construction make the watershed even more vulnerable. SEACC updates our Chilkat Action Page as issues change and solutions arise, so you can always find the most timely, effective ways to help protect the Chilkat Watershed at seacc.org/protect-chilkat .

You, Business Partners!

by Derek Poinsette
Fall 2022 / Winter 2023 | Ravencall Thank
Above & Beyond Alaska | Juneau Baranof Wilderness Lodge | Sitka Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks | Gustavus Sockeye Cycle | Haines & Skagway Spirit Walker Expeditions | Gustavus ☞ ✍ ✉ ✵


Making your mark

You can leave a lasting legacy on the lands and waters of Southeast Alaska. Submitting comments through our action portals, writing to representatives, signing petitions, and getting the word out about conservation issues are critical to our work.

Making a donation to SEACC takes your impact to the next level. Your donation allows our team to watchdog mines, stand up against industrial logging, grow the climate movement in our region, and do the important grassroots mobilization that helps to advocate for Southeast.

We’ll keep standing up for conservation regardless of the challenges and changes that come our way. And whether it’s $1 one time or $100 every year, each donation contributes to our work. Together, we can continue to preserve the incredible places and communities that make up Southeast Alaska.

Donate online at seacc.org/donate or clip out this form and mail it with your donation to the address listed.

Thank you for your support!


o I want to set up a monthly, recurring donation of:





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









o I want to learn more about becoming a Legacy Donor.

send me more information.

Donate online at seacc.org/donate or clip this form and send to:

Alaska Conservation Council

Jordan Ave, Juneau, AK 99801

Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.


Card # Expiration
CVV # Name Phone Address City State Zip Email ✁ Check out our website and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with the SEACC community and keep up to date on the issues! 2207 Jordan Avenue Juneau, Alaska 99801 (907) 586-6942 seacc.org I
want to support
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.