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SEACC Annual Report 2010

Annual Report

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

40 years of standing strong and protecting the majestic Tongass National Forest

Dear Friends of Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, 2010 turned out to be a critically important year in our 40 year history of standing strong to protect the majestic Tongass National Forest. The Obama administration and the United States Forest Service chose to take a new direction, away from large scale clearcut logging of old-growth forests and toward more sustainable focuses like recreation, restoration and renewable energy. SEACC is ready to rise to the occasion. Decades of work in the Tongass positions us to play a key role in shaping a successful transition. Our community forest planning efforts, restoration and stewardship projects, along with promotion of renewable energy and land protection efforts, are bringing a new set of stakeholders to the table. SEACC has a legacy of effective partnerships within Southeast Alaska and we are proud to be at the forefront of the collaboration needed to usher in this new transition framework. This dedication to partnership aids our work with community

leaders to address the energy and economic needs of Kake, Wrangell, Hoonah, Yakutat, Prince of Wales Island, Taku and throughout the Tongass. Change, however, is not always easy. Old-growth logging has long been the main focus of the Forest Service, and many parties will resist proposals for change. We continue to fight for SEACC’s special places in the Tongass, standing steadfast against poorly crafted legislation, and working hard to stop mining that would impact critical salmon watersheds. The support of our community partners is vital to our efforts. We are deeply grateful to you and we look forward to standing strong with you as we usher in this new era of change.

Lindsey Ketchel, Executive Director

Photographs courtesy of Sean Neilson, Alaskan Photographer and SEACC Board Member

SEACC Annual Report 2010


healthy forest SEACC Annual Report 2010

In Southeast Alaska, our unique quality of life is intimately tied to the healthy fish, wildlife and wild places of the Tongass National Forest. SEACC exists to protect this globally unique, temperate rainforest, while fostering communities that thrive through the sustainable use of our region’s resources. Together with our allies, we are showing that the connections between people and place in Southeast Alaska, which in the past have led to conflict, today lead to prosperity.

SEACC Team Lindsey Ketchel Executive Director Katya Kirsch Senior Associate Director Buck Lindekugel Grassroots Attorney Rob Cadmus Conservation Director Dan Lesh Energy Coordinator Doug Hanon Finance Director Kimberly Adank Membership Director Sarah Campen Community Organizer Bob Claus Community Organizer Guy Archibald Clean Water/ Mining Organizer Russell Stigall Communication Coordinator

SEACC Board Joanie McBeen Board President Stephan Todd Co-Vice President Vickie LeCornu Co-Vice President Mike McKimens Treasurer Eric Kocher Secretary Marian Allen Clay Frick Clayton Jernigan Bart Koehler Eric Lee Steve Lewis Victoria McDonald Sean Neilson Mike Sallee Joe Sebastian Ray Sensmeier Laurel Stark Wayne Weihing Tina Brown (2011)

southeast outreach

SEACC Annual Report 2010


The proposed Constantine Mine has raised community concern in Haines. SEACC mining coordinator Guy Archibald put together a well-attended presentation about the importance of salmon habitat and the potential impacts of the mine.



After an out of state mining company staked miles of claims on the Yakutat Forelands for a proposed openpit mine in 2010, we worked closely with the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe to mount local opposition. SEACC released an investor press release questioning the veracity of the claims. BLM later forfeited the claims because the company failed to pay the maintenance fees. We are currently working with the Tribe to find ways to protect this area from future threats.


Hoonah Tenakee


Together with the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the Tlingit-Haida Housing Authority, SEACC completed a demonstration project highlighting energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to the high cost of energy in this town. We retrofitted a house with the latest technologies and produced a documentary that captured the incredible community interest and involvement in our project.




SEACC’s longtime partnership with this community allowed us to work with key leaders to protect nearby public lands from transfer to the Sealaska Corporation and the University of Alaska. The community also passed a resolution supporting subsistence uses and additional wildland protections--a model for our regional efforts.


State and federal plans continue to target Wrangell’s forest lands for over-sized timber sales that would send whole logs out of the community in the round. In 2010, we hired an organizer in the community and are showing that a sustainable local use of timber and increasing restoration work and recreation infrastructure would better benefit the local economy.

Community Engagement SEACC is pursuing strategic partnerships with communities looking for sustainable jobs and protections of important fish and wildlife habitat throughout Southeast Alaska. Our work is being lead by our member groups, volunteer activists and employees based in these communities.

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Construction of a new set of Alaska Class Ferries is under consideration by the state. We continue to support and advocate for ferries as a way to meet local transportation needs without the impacts of damaging road building.

Our naturalist hikes, informative presentations and guest speakers are a great way to shape the dialogue about forest and community issues in Southeast Alaska. These events keep SEACC connected with our members and the public. This year we celebrated our 40th Anniversary with a dinner and dance in Juneau to honor our past and set the stage for a bright future.





A sustainable timber mill and SEACC partner, Icy Straits Lumber, is looking to expand their local sales to green markets and business activities to restoration and recreation. In 2010, SEACC completed a market survey and is pursuing additional ways to assist this key supporter of the Tongass Transition Framework and SEACC’s 2009 Hoonah Community Forest.


Our Kake Community Forest project efforts spurred the Forest Service to reduce the size of the proposed Central Kupreanof sale and work to develop Stewardship business opportunities for local residents. SEACC cohosted a key workshop with local and national leader to ensure this development promotes local jobs, recreation, and restoration.


We also installed a 120-foot wind tower with the Organized Village of Kake as a first step toward getting the community off of expensive diesel fuel.



Kake Bob Claus, our Prince of Wales-based Community Organizer, coordinated local input on the Sealaska Bill in the US Congress. The bill initially included extensive logging on critical POW lands, but those impacts have been scaled back considerably in recent versions. Bob’s twice monthly Out in the Rain events get people outside and exercising on POW Island, a key step towards community stewardship of the forest.

Poorman Mine


As of Fall 2010, the mine developer is no longer putting resources into this project. SEACC’s work with the Organized Village of Kasaan put an end to this destructive threat to a key subsistence area for the people of Kasaan.


showing alternatves

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Along with our work to stop problematic development, it is an equally important effort to show viable alternatives to unsustainable resource extraction. Many Southeast Alaskan communities are currently powered by diesel and other fossil fuels. These fossil fuels are furthering climate change and the high cost of oil is creating severe hardships for Alaskan communities and families. Costs are so extreme that families are moving away from Southeast Alaska and businesses are going bankrupt. This summer SEACC, the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority traveled to the remote Native Alaskan community of Angoon, which currently relies on high-cost (60 cents per kWh) diesel generators for electricity. Over the course of the summer and fall we completed a major energy retrofit to a home in Angoon, installing the first solar panels, solar hot water, LED light bulbs, wind generator, and super weatherization effort in this village. The demonstration project included extensive community and regional outreach, in the form of barbeques, local volunteering, a website, extensive print and radio media coverage, and numerous showings of our high-quality 15-minute documentary. Via strategic partnerships, we are showing that local solutions can help meet local needs, and helping to generate the public support and organizational capacity needed to achieve these results. SEACC also partnered with the Organized Village of Kake, the tribal government for the Native Alaskan community of Kake. Together, we installed a 120-foot wind tower to study the feasibility of wind power for this community, which is currently using high cost diesel electricity. We believe that community empowerment is a key step toward sustainable communities and a low-impact renewable energy system in Southeast Alaska.

Other energy efforts at SEACC in 2010 included commenting on developments that we oppose, such as the Cascade Creek Hydroelectric Project – an unnecessary export project in an important community use area near Petersburg, and those that we support, such as the Petersburg to Kake Electrical Intertie. We are putting SEACC’s extensive experience with the Forest Service, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the State of Alaska to work to speed up the development of our renewable energy resources while ensuring that all projects are compatible with the long term sustainability of the region.

SEACC Annual Report 2010

sustainable energy

constructive alternatives

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Sealaska Land Transfer To date we have halted the transfer of vital Tongass National Forest to the Sealaska Corporation. But a new version of this controversial bill still threatens to give Sealaska some of the most important and widely used lands on the Tongass. Throughout 2009 and 2010, SEACC organized turnout and voices during Senator Lisa Murkowski’s “listening tour” in Southeast Alaska. We testified on the proposal at Congressional hearings and met dozens of times with key decision-makers on the issue. These efforts led to a revised bill that addresses a few community concerns and reduces some of the most egregious effects, such as reduced logging impacts on North Prince of Wales. The bill died when the 2010 congressional session ended.

For more than 40 years, SEACC members have worked to stop damaging logging, mining and road building proposals. It is because of this important work that there are still wild places left on the Tongass to protect. SEACC continues to stand strong in defense of our forests and waters.

Unfortunately, Murkowski intends to reintroduce a new Sealaska bill, and her revised draft still targets special areas for clear cut logging such as Kassa, Keete, and Mabel, which are critical for customary and traditional hunting, fishing and gathering for residents in Hydaburg. With this revised bill still at play in the nation’s capitol, SEACC is rallying our members and activists. Many of our members are working to show that the “Future Site” selections are overreaching and would inhibit other uses such as fishing, hunting and ecotourism opportunities on key Tongass wildlands. Furthermore, while we recognize and support Sealaska’s legal right to finalize its land entitlement, this proposal is far from a solution that respects the rights and interests of all Southeast Alaskans. Any new version of the proposal should reflect the needs of all concerned citizens.

strong d

SEACC Annual Report 2010

University Lands

defense SEACC successfully fought off a state proposal to give roughly 35,000 acres of Southeast Alaska wildlands to the University of Alaska to develop, log or sell to the highest bidder. Before the bill died, we succeeded in removing seven controversial parcels, including those important to fishing businesses like Pelican’s Mite Cove.

We appreciate the effort of all of our members and community allies who helped sway key decision-makers via phone calls, emails, letters, testimony and in-person meetings. Many parcels were located in important areas, such as the Cleveland Peninsula and Tracy Arm & Ford’s Terror Wilderness.

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Stopped the dead-end Juneau Road In February 2009, SEACC successfully thwarted a boondoggle project - a 50mile road proposed through Tongass wildlands north of Juneau. The court ruled in favor of SEACC, saying that the Alaska Department of Transportation must consider the “first, obvious alternative”: improving the existing ferry service.

Now the State of Alaska is trying to revive the dead project. Earthjustice argued on our behalf before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that improving the ferry system was the best way to improve transportation. SEACC also helped the Alaska Transportation Priorities Project publicize their report “Easy to Start, Impossible to Finish,” which

outlines why the State of Alaska needs to prioritize important transportation links, such as the ferry system and maintaining existing roads instead of starting new transportation megaprojects, like the Juneau Road or Gravina bridge.

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Clean Water and Mining SEACC worked to keep our water clean from damaging mining proposals. SEACC’s hard work with the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe and others in Yakutat helped raise awareness about the importance of the Yakutat Forelands and its outstanding salmon streams. The Forelands are located on the outer coast near the community of Yakutat, northeast of Glacier Bay National Park. Thanks to our allies and activists, the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, Alaska Native Brotherhood, & National Congress of American Indians officially opposed a proposed large scale placer mine. Over 400 people signed a petition opposing mining in Yakutat. Subsequently, the mining corporation which had staked 92 square miles of salmonproducing watersheds, failed to maintain their mineral claims. These claims are all being forfeited. We are now working with allies to craft a plan for permanently protecting the Forelands from mining development, likely through federal prohibition of mineral staking in the area and stronger standards and guidelines for placer mining. We’re working to conserve the Taku River watershed, the largest unprotected watershed on the Pacific coast of North America. Flowing from Canada into Alaska, it provides habitat for large populations of wild salmon. A proposed mine threatens the watershed, but subsequent to the work of SEACC and our allies, the mine proponent failed to receive the needed permits and went bankrupt. This empowered Taku River fishermen to promote a Critical Habitat designation that would protect salmon on the lower Taku River in Alaska.

SEACC Annual Report 2010

income Major Foundations Raffle/Product Sales Foundations

$390,000 $6,724 $188,335

Family Foundations


Alaska Foundations


Investment Income






Legacy Gift







Tongass Campaign




Energy (3 Months)


Outreach & Communications






Alaska Transportation Priorities Project $78,655 Sitka Conservation Society Donor Directed $50,000



statement of activities

SEACC Annual Report 2010



Financial figures presented from an audit conducted by Altman Rogers & Co. May, 2010 - February, 2011.

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Kurt Hoelting Former SEACC board member and longtime supporter Kurt Hoelting first came to Southeast Alaska in 1969 as a college student to work on a salmon seiner out of Petersburg. Hoelting fell in love with the fishing lifestyle and the amazing terrain, describing the Tongass as “Puget Sound on steroids,” and recognizing in the Tongass much of the ecological integrity that had been lost on the rest of the coast. In 1994, Hoelting founded Inside Passages, a sea kayaking business which guides clientele through Tongass wildernesses and offers insight into conservation and meditative practices. Through his focus on natural history and a sense of wonder and reverence for the Tongass, Hoelting has inspired a lasting connection between the forest and his clients. He has been a strong advocate for SEACC’s work around the Tongass and continues to refer Inside Passages guests to SEACC. In 2008, Kurt responded to growing concern about climate change by making a personal commitment to go car-free for one year and live within a 100 km radius of his home on Whidbey Island, Wash. His inspiring account of this year, entitled The Circumference of Home, directly addresses the need for awareness of our day-to-day actions and a connection for the places around us.


thank you

SEACC Annual Report 2010

Ray Sensmeier

Karyn Price

Lifelong subsistence fisherman and Yakutat resident Ray Sensmeier has been an active board member for the last two years.

Lifelong Juneau resident Karyn Price was an original member of the first SEACC board and the granddaughter of a Treadwell miner. She helped to build SEACC in its fledgling years and was dedicated to the protection of the exceptional natural resources and recreation opportunities offered by the Tongass. As a teacher, she inspired and influenced numerous students throughout her extensive career.

Ray was instrumental in getting resolutions from the Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand Camp and the National Congress of American Indians passed against mining development in the Yakutat Forelands. He has worked on numerous environmental issues around Yakutat, including contributing to a decade long study on cruise ship pollution and its impact on the harbor seal population. He has been a strong and dedicated advocate for protecting the resources the community of Yakutat has depended on for countless generations. Additionally, Ray serves on the Board of Directors for the Alaska Native Harbor Seal Commission, is a tribal council member of Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, and is an active member in the Alaska Native Brotherhood local camp #13. His work has been indispensable in protecting the treasured Yakutat Forelands and other wild places in the Tongass, and his voice of reason brings a sense of calm to SEACC.

Before she passed away in March of 2009, Karyn decided to leave her legacy gift to SEACC. Karyn recognized SEACC’s role in protecting Southeast Alaska: “SEACC’s diligence ensures that unchecked economic growth won’t risk the health of those things that make this place so special,” she said.

Karyn’s legacy gift ensures that SEACC can continue to safeguard wild lands and special places in Southeast Alaska for many years to come. We are grateful for her dedication and generosity to the Tongass, and continue to use her gift to support the highest levels of protection for this incredible national forest.

s spotlight A legacy gift is an excellent way for you to provide long-lasting support and help SEACC fulfill our mission to safeguard wild places in the Tongass National Forest.

SEACC 419 Sixth St. #200, Juneau, Alaska 99801

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council 907-586-6942 •

Annual Report 2010  

A review of SEACC's accomplishments, finances, and focus in 2010.