Sitka Conservation Society 2020 Calendar (2019 Annual Report)

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2020 SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2020 CALENDAR 2019 ANNUAL REPORT


OUR MISSION The Sitka Conservation Society protects the natural environment of the Tongass National Forest while supporting the development of economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable communities within Southeast Alaska.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 01 02 04 06 08 10

Protecting the Tongass Together: President's Letter The Living Wilderness Fund, With Our Utmost Gratitude 2019: A Tipping Point Year Executive Director's Letter Financial Report: Thanking Our Donors and Partners Where We Came from and Where We are Going Living Together With The Land

12 14 16 18

Environmental Justice for the Tongass National Forest Honor the Herring Yaaw Koo.eex’ Developing a Workforce for Sustainability In Alaska Salmon Unite Us

24 26 28 30

Teaching Science with Place Based Education Living with the Land and Building Community 4-H Program An Unlikely Hiker in the Tongass: A Reflection on My Time at SCS Youth Activism and Climate Change

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Sitka: A Community Built on Wild Alaskan Salmon

32

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Renovating the Fred's Creek and Allan Point Forest Service Cabins

Cover: © Bethany Goodrich Photography. Above: © Lione Clare Photography. Left: © Ava Milling. Opposite: © Amelia Milling.

Together, We are SCS: SCS Staff and Board


PROTECTING THE TONGASS TOGETHER A LETTER FROM MELISSA HAMILTON, SCS BOARD PRESIDENT

Dear Friends, This year I have been especially encouraged and proud

has formed and strengthened relationships in small com-

to work with the hard-working and dedicated staff and

munities across Southeast, helping to amplify voices across

volunteers who make the Sitka Conservation Society

our region. I am grateful and amazed by the passion of the

successful. The work that SCS does is relevant and

staff and volunteers who have given their time and resourc-

impactful, not only in Southeast Alaska, but through-

es to do this important work to protect and sustainably

out our state and nation. Over the last year, there have

develop Southeast Alaska. Each of you strengthens SCS and

been many events and occasions when SCS found the

makes it better.

light in a bleak and often overwhelming political and environmental climate.

SCS HAS FORMED AND STRENGTHENED RELATIONSHIPS IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS SOUTHEAST, HELPING TO APPLIFY VOICES ACROSS OUR REGION

SCS continues to develop as an organization to create a greater influence across Alaska and the United States.

programs that the Sitka Conservation Society has cre-

Locally, SCS has seen its membership grow as we have

SCS has a solid history of forming partnerships with gov-

ated and facilitated. I hope you enjoy the collaboration

found innovative ways to expand our outreach and engage

ernment agencies and foundations to accomplish projects

that went into making this calendar and that you will be

with people who care about the Tongass National Forest

and to provide funding for operations. In 2019, SCS led

motivated and inspired to get involved and to be a part

and who want to get involved, to make a difference. In

advocacy efforts that brought national attention to the

of building a sustainable future for our home and region.

2019, SCS supported and developed youth education and

Tongass National Forest and the threats it currently faces.

engagement initiatives through the 4-H and Fish to Schools

In the coming years, the Sitka Conservation Society

programs. The Wild Foods Potluck and Rock the Dock

will continue to grow and work towards its mission: to

brought a diverse group of community members together

protect the natural environment of the Tongass National

over a shared love of our home and natural resources, while

Forest and to develop sustainable communities in South-

also expanding our partnerships. Through innovative out-

east Alaska. Over the next year, this calendar will share

reach and the incredible effort of volunteers and staff, SCS

the stories of some of the impactful people, work, and

—Melissa Hamilton, SCS Board President

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 1


THE LIVING WILDERNESS FUND FUNDING TONGASS PROTECTIONS FOR GENERATIONS TO COME

T

he Living Wilderness Fund was created to ensure that there will always be a voice for protecting, honoring,

and preserving Wilderness on the Tongass. When our founders established the Sitka Conservation Society in 1967, one of their core values was that there should be places on the Tongass that are free from the industrial activities of humans. They believed there should be places where natural ecosystem dynamics are free to play out as nature dictates. The fund was made to honor the found-

ers of the Sitka Conservation Society and all those who have become a core part of who we are. In 2018, the Living Wilderness Fund received an important gift: the estate of Pam and Eric Bealer. Pam and Eric loved the West Chichagof Wilderness Area. They lived adjacent to the Wilderness and it provided for them in many ways. The art Eric Bealer created is a gift to everyone and is clearly directly inspired by the Tongass wilderness. Perhaps Eric is the only artist capable of capturing both the grandeur of the Tongass alongside all of its minute and intricate details. The Sitka Conservation Society will use this gift to ensure there is always Wilderness from which we draw inspiration. The Living Wilderness Fund functions as an endowment. Gifts have been made to the Living Wilderness Fund in honor of others, as stock donations, as inheritances, and simply as donations. Thank you to everyone who has given donations to the Living Wilderness Fund this year, especially the gifts made in honor of Bob Ellis and Eric and Pam Bealer. The work that we do with this support will always carry their values, ideals, spirit, and memory.

The Living Wilderness Fund is at

$833,118

1.5 MILLION GOAL Fund supports the entire wilderness advocacy program.

1 MILLION GOAL

Fund supports a fulltime staff position.

500K GOAL

© Bethany Goodrich Photography. Opposite L–R: © Sitka Conservation Society, © Pam and Eric Bealer Estate.

Accomplished! Fund supports a part-time staff position.


WITH OUR UTMOST GRATITUDE

ERIC & PAM BEALER

world around him, Eric said: “Nature is full of beauti-

(1960 — 2018)

ful details–far more that we can hold in our eyes and mind at one time. All those details combine to create

Eric and Pam Bealer lived surrounded by the wilder-

the whole.” His art captures the most minute and infi-

ness of the Tongass National Forest. They fell in love

nite details of spiderwebs and dewdrops, as well as the

BOB ELLIS

with the wild, remote, and rugged coastline of South-

awe inspiring hugeness of the majestic landscapes,

east Alaska and decided to make a home in the middle of

snow-capped peaks, rugged bays, and inlets of South-

(1927 — 2019)

the West Chichagof–Yakobi Wilderness, in a bay daunt-

east Alaska.

ing to access for even experienced locals. They chose to

In their lives and art, Eric and Pam drew inspiration

Bob Ellis served on the SCS Board of Directors for 27

leave a legacy for Wilderness and left their estate to the

from the West Chichagof–Yakobi Wilderness. They were

years. Bob passed away in 2019 at the age of 91. Bob’s

Sitka Conservation Society’s Living Wilderness Fund.

nourished, warmed, and sheltered by the natural world

contributions to SCS, Sitka, and the Tongass are too

We are humbled by their gift and will continue to honor

of the Tongass. Eric and Pam built a life that was self-

many to list. He was a man of many talents who cre-

their legacy by stewarding and protecting the Wilder-

reliant and connected to the land; they raised chickens

ated beautiful things with his hands and who touched

ness of the Tongass.

and turkeys, cultivated their food, and built their house

many people around him with his heart. Bob shaped

Eric's beautiful artwork reveals his connection to

and much of their furniture from logs that washed up

the Sitka Conservation Society with his deliberate

the Tongass. He worked in watercolor, colored pencil,

on the beaches. We are incredibly grateful for Eric and

and intentional leadership. He inspired others with

scratchboard, and intaglio, but his true calling was wood

Pam’s gift to our Living Wilderness Fund, and for how

the thoughtful generosity with which he lived his life,

engraving. He observed carefully, noticed detail, and

beautifully they expressed their shared love of West

by living closely with the lands and waters, by show-

appreciated all facets of the forest ecosystem equally for

Chichagof and deep connection to nature through

ing the utmost respect for the natural environment of

their inherent beauty. If you look closely at the details of

their art, their inspirational partnership, their values,

Southeast Alaska, and for taking the time and energy

his work, you will see the faces of forest spirits and ref-

and the ways they lived their lives. We will honor their

to do things the right way. In our work, we strive to

erences to Mother Earth, often resembling his beloved

love of Wilderness so that future generations may be as

emulate Bob and we miss him dearly.

wife, Pam. Speaking of the inspiration he found in the

inspired by it as Pam and Eric. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 3


2019 A TIPPING POINT YEAR T

he thing that I’ll remember most about 2019 was the mix of contradictory feelings and emotions that weighed

so heavily on all of us in Southeast Alaska. The weath-

er over the summer was sunny and warm, and we were wearing T-shirts and shorts. But when that weather continued and didn’t change—and we didn’t get the rain that the forest ecosystem is so dependent on—we became nervous and it felt strange. Then when the smoke started blowing in from massive wildfires in other parts of Alaska and the sunsets became blood red, it reminded us that the beautiful weather came at a great cost. 2019 felt like a tipping point. There is no question that the climate has changed and we are now in unknown territory. Salmon runs are different. The weather is different. The ocean feels different. The forest feels different—drier and with different bugs. What hurts the most is that these changes, so obvious to us living on the ground, are being soundly ignored by the leaders of our country who are in power. In fact, they are consistently making decisions that are making things worse.

Top to Bottom L-R: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Lione Clare Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography


We know that we have to work together to create more unity, build resilient communities, encourage stronger civic engagement, and find solutions. This is why the Sitka Conservation Society helped found the Sustainable Southeast Partnership and the 4-H Alaska Way of Life program, and why we have consistently engaged in collaborative processes to find solutions to Tongass forest management conflict. In 2019, political leaders turned their backs on that work and torpedoed it. We reeled when our President and Governor decided to throw away compromise solutions on an Alaska Roadless Rule. With no long-term vision and only valuing their own profit,they just want to keep logging all the old-growth forests until none are left.

WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE MORE UNITY, BUILD RESILIENT COMMUNITIES, ENCOURAGE CIVIC ENGAGEMENT, AND FIND SOLUTIONS We responded. Alaskans stepped up and spoke out. Thousands of Alaskans have pushed back against Governor Dunleavey and thousands more have told the Forest Service to keep the Roadless Rule in place. Alaskan families and businesses that are invested in the long-term success of our state and its environment are organizing and demanding different values and a better vision. New generations are taking on leadership positions and demanding a different way. 2019 was the Sitka Conservation Society’s 52nd year. It was clearer than ever why our work is essential and why we need to persevere and grow. Thank you to everyone who helped us in our work, who has supported us, and who are part of the larger overall effort of protecting the Tongass and creating sustainability in Southeast Alaska.

—Andrew Thoms, SCS Executive Director

Top to Bottom L-R: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling, © Amelia Milling, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling.

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 5


DONORS & PARTNERS SCS is immensely grateful for all your support. We would especially like to recognize the following foundations and organizations: 4-H 57 Peaks Alaska Community Forest Council Alaska Conservation Foundation Alchemy Charitable Foundation The Alaska Center for the Environment Alaska Longline Fishermen's Assoc. Alaska Marine Lines Alaska Marine Safety Education Assoc. Alaska Native Brotherhood Alaska Native Sisterhood Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust Alaska Youth for Environmental Action Allen Marine Alpacka Raft American Fisheries Society, AK Chapter Artchange Audubon Alaska Backdoor Café Bagheera Sailing Baranof Island Artists Baranof Island Brewing Baranof Wilderness Lodge Bayview Pub Bear and Tigger Remembrance Fund Beak Restaurant Birch Equipment Rental & Sales Blatchley Middle School Boyscouts Troop 78 Michigan Brave Heart Volunteers Breakaway Adventures Captain Juju's Food Truck Captain Gary's Sitka Adventures Campion Foundation Cedar Rock Gallery Chicobi Charters The Chocolate Moose Citizens' Climate Lobby, AK Chapter City and Borough of Sitka City of Hoonah Clovis Foundation Coast Guard Spouses' and Women's Association of Sitka

Common Stream Foundation Cook Inletkeeper Creative Hustler Company Crossroads Photography Workshops Custom Ink Eaglemere Foundation Edgerton Foundation Edible Alaska Magazine Fish Baranof Fisherman's Quay Fisheye Cafe Fortress of the Bear The Fresh Fish Gallant Adventures George H. & Jane A. Mifflin Mem. Fund Greater Sitka Arts Council Greater St. Louis Community Foundation Grow Southeast Spruce Root Community Dev. Hames Corporation Hames Center Hannah Hamburg Designs Haida Corporation Harry Race Pharmacy Herring Rock Water Protectors Hoonah Indian Association Hoonah Native Forest Partnership Hydaburg Cooperative Association Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest K&E Alaska Inc. Kai Environmental LLC KCAW Raven Radio Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary Klawock Cooperative Association Knox College Leighty Foundation Lindblad-National Geographic Fund Longliner Lodge LSF Marine Supplies Ludvig's Bistro Lynn Canal Conservation Mean Queen Mount Edgecumbe High School National Forest Foundation National Park Service National Parks Conservation Assoc. Ntl. Wilderness Stewardship Alliance The Nature Conservancy, Alaska New Ventures Fund Old Harbor Books Organized Village of Kake Organized Village of Kasaan Our Town Catering

Pacific HIgh School Pacific Wings Patagonia Pew Charitable Trust Pioneer Studios Primo's Teriyaki Renewable Energy Alaska Project Russell's S.B. Foundation Sail Mycia Sailing Saint Tattoo Salmon Beyond Borders Samson Tug and Barge Salmon State Sealaska Seafood Producers Cooperative SEARHC Sitka Bicycle Friendly Comm. Coalition Sitka Chamber of Commerce Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition Sitka Electric Car Group Sitka Fine Arts Camp Sitka Fire Department/EMT Sitka Food Co-op Sitka High School Sitka High School Track Team Sitka Health Summit Coalition Sitka Historical Society Sitka Kitch Sitka Local Foods Network Sitka Lutheran Church Sitka National Historical Park, National Park Service Sitka Native Education Program Sitka Pioneer Home Sitka Public Library Sitka Rose Gallery Sitka Salmon Shares Sitka School District Sitka Sound Science Center Sitka Sound Seafoods Sitka Spruce Tip 4-H Club Leaders Sitka Sportsman Association Sitka Summer Music Festival Sitka Tribe of Alaska Sitka Whalefest Sitka Wildlife Adventures Sound Sailing Southeast Alaska Independent Living Southeast Alaska Conservation Council Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership Spenards Builder Supply – Sitka Spruce Root Community Development

State of Alaska Division of Forestry State of Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Sustainable Southeast Partnership The Salmon Project The Seattle Foundation Tatoosh School Thimbleberry Bay House Tlingit and Haida Central Council Training Rural Alaska Youth and Leaders Project TM Construction Training Resources for the Environmental Community Trout Unlimited True North Turner Foundation University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension University of Alaska, Southeast U-Printing US Coast Guard USDA Forest Service USFS Pacific Northwest Research Lab Visit Sitka White Elephant Shop Wilburforce Foundation Wintersong Soap Company Work and Rugged Gear

Above: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling.


We also thank the following individuals for their generous donations and contributions: Luke A'Bear Susan Abbott and James Arisman Tom and Diana Allen Monique and Blain Anderson Tom Andrews and Kate Landers Jeff Ankerfelt Kimberly Bakkes Pat Barker Mary Barrett and Jeff Arndt RA Barzso Dane McFadden and Lauren Bell Brenda Berry Annette Blankenship Peter Brabeck Michael and Mary Brabeck Frances Brann J. Bradley Brickman Tim Bristol Gale and Phil Brownell Robby Bruce Jeff Kelly and Debra Brushafer Scott Brylinsky Davey Lubin and Lisa Busch Michelle and Justin Caldwell Larry Calvin Norm and Toby Campbell Vincent Castellucci Charles Christianson Ben Clark Paula Wisness and Mark Cochran Laurence Dean Erik DeJong Mike Derzon Joseph Driskill Elaine Andrews and Roger DuBrock Jerry Dzugan Brent and Valerie Edwards Dorie Farrell Bob and Mary Fedoroff Ellen Ferguson Sharyn Ferrick Kenyon Fields Kari Johnson and Steve Fish Rick Fleischman Bill and Sherry Foster Sara Beaber-Fujioka and Tad Fujioka Gail and Andy Fulton Leonard Steinberg and Deborah Greenberg Amy Gulick

Lexi Fish and Adam Hackett Christine Harrington Judy and Duane Hays Russell Heath Mary-Alice Henry William and Helen Hodgson Bryan and Dana Howey Bob and Kim Hunter Matthew Hunter Sonia Ibarra Madeleine Sloane and Michael Ingerman Matthew Jackson Laura Jacobsen Julie Jarnagin Alice Johnstone Anna Johnstone Eric and Sarah Jordan Jane Kamvar Howard Pendell and Patricia Kehoe Cary and Sarah Keller Sandra Kincheloe Joanne and John Kleis Chris Kowalczewski Floyd Tomkins and Connie Kreiss Jim and Kathy Kyle Kathy Kyle James Larson Marcel and Connie LaPerriere Stephen Lawrie Gina Lawson Michael and Klaudia Leccese Jessica Lee Judi Lehmann Arlene Levy Lorraine Inez Lil Michael Litman Bert Loosmore and Family Colluana Marley Jon and Yvette Martin Jon Martin Bill and Diane Marx Michael Mayo Sheryl Mayo Kathleen McCrossin Jeff McKay Brian McNItt Sandie and Ted Menmuir Chester and Miriam Meyers Debbie Miller Andy Moderow Jeffrey Moebus Nicolas and Meridith Mink

Deanna Moore Olan Moore Allison Nelson Darin Nelson Diana DuBois and Doug Nethercut Carolyn Nichols Keith Nyitray Jack Opgennorth Julia Smith and Dave Nuetzel Noreen O'Brien Elias Opgenorth Dorothy and Dean Orbison Jana Ozment-Kirk Susan Padilla Don Surgeon and Galen Paine Frances Parson John Patton Frances Paxson Michael Peters Debra Pohlman Caitlin Purdome Mary and Bob Purvis Krisanne Rice Sherry Richardson Paula Riggert Tim Riley Dennis Rogers Elizabeth Sanchez Robert Schell Linda Schmidt Laura Schmidt Lee Schmidt Stephen Rhoads and Beth Short Connie Sipe John Sisk Jim Slater David Sparling Reber Stein David and Marge Steward Libby Stortz Cheryl Stromme Eileen Gallagher and James Swift Maite Lorente and Andrew Thoms Mike Thoms Peter Gorman and Mary Therese Thompson Pat Veesart Victoria Vosburg Nancy Waterman Joseph Webb Leah Weinberg Drew Wilson and Gabrielle Westergren Charlie Wilber

Donald J. Wille Karen Wilson Michelle Friedman and Roland Wirth Mark Cochran and Paula Wisness Lynn Hubbard and David Zapolsky Jeff Zerger

We are also grateful to all the fishermen who donated to the Fish to Schools program, including the following vessels: F/V Alsek F/V Apollo F/V Born Again F/V Cape Cross F/V Juanderer F/V Miracle F/V Mindalina

F/V Myriad F/V Sakura F/V Samantha Down F/V Shanty F/V Robins F/V Ulla

FINANCIAL REPORT These figures represent all of our programs January through July 2019.

2019 INCOME $416,384

2019 EXPENSES $324,974

Grants: (76%) Donations and Membership (13%) Fundraising (1%) Inc./Retail/Other (10%)

Personnel: (73%) Operations (14%) Program Support (8%) Fundraising (5%)

Grant Income for specific projects: $22,419

Grant Expenses for specific projects: $86,572

2018 INCOME $646,251

Grants: (83%) Donations and Membership (14%) Fundraising (2%) Inc./Retail/Other (1%)

2018 EXPENSES $548,218

Personnel: (69%) Operations (20%) Program Support (9%) Fundraising (2%)

Grant Income for specific projects: $123,624 Grant Expenses for specific projects: $159,823

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 7


JANUARY 20

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The clouds break on a cold winter morning: a new day, a new year for Sitka. Sitka lies in the heart of the Tongass, where sea meets mountains, ravens meet eagles, and lush old growth forests meet wind-swept snowy alpine.


Month photo: © Rafe Hanson Photography. Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling.

WHERE WE CAME FROM AND WHERE WE ARE GOING ALICE JOHNSTONE

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Founding Member of Sitka Conservation Society

Dear SCS Members and Supporters, It’s hard saying goodbye to a place that you love, especially when that place is your home, the place where you raised your family, and the place where you became the person you are. After living in Sitka for 77 years, I’m doing just that. I’m moving closer to family. It was not an easy decision. I fell in love with Sitka before I arrived in Alaska. When I was a teenager, I saw a picture of Sitka while standing on the docks in Seattle. It showed our small downtown: the streets around St. Michael’s Cathedral against a backdrop of pointy mountains and ocean. Little did I know that this magical town would become my home. I moved here at 17, a young bride. I built a life, raised four kids, and explored this wild landscape. I fell in love with Sitka. Together with my husband Chuck, I was one of several who started the Sitka Conservation Society in 1967. Our dream was to get West Chichagof designated a wilderness area before the mill turned all our trees to pulp. We hoped that future generations could hunt, fish, and explore the island as we did, rather than see it devastated by logging. I could have never guessed what our small movement would become. Not only was the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness area designated, but our actions resulted in the designation of South Baranof Island Wilderness. We laid the foundation for what SCS is today: an organization dedicated to sustaining cultural, ecological, and economic prosperity in this region. I am humbled, grateful, and proud. The world is changing. With climate change, we don’t know what will happen. The forest could be very different soon. We must take care of it. I hope people appreciate that there is more to the forest than the trees. There are animals and fish—it is a good place for people to come to. I hope that it goes on forever. Thank you for being part of this organization. Sincerely, Alice Johnstone, Sep. 2019

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INVESTING IN US: GRATITUDE FOR TREC As a Wilburforce Foundation Grantee, Sitka Conservation Society has been lucky to receive ongoing support from Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC). TREC is committed to organizations working effectively for environmental causes and sustainability across the West of North America. TREC achieves this vision by providing training and professional development for people working in conservation. In recent years, TREC has invested significant resources in SCS staff and board to build up our individual and collective skills, our strength as a team, and to increase our impact as an organization. We are grateful for their support and look forward to growing together to keep ecosystems whole and our community sustainable. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 9


FEBRUARY 20

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The Tongass is an ancient forest where trees can grow to be over a thousand years old. They stand as witnesses to the seasons and life in the forest: the storms, the nesting owls, the passing bears, the salmon runs.


Month Photo: © Bethany Goodrich Photography. Below: © Amelia Milling, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography.

LIVING TOGETHER WITH THE LAND KEVAN O'HANLON Living with the Land and Building Community Jesuit Volunteer (2018 – 2019) I arrived in Sitka in August of 2018 to serve as the Living with the Land and Building Community Jesuit Volunteer. In this role, I had the privilege of working with SCS’s vibrant youth engagement 4-H programs. 4-H introduced me to great families and community partners who have helped SCS provide high-quality community-based programming for over 6 years. I spent my year living in an intentional community with the three other Jesuit Volunteers in Sitka. Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest is based around the values of community, simple living, spirituality, and justice. While I planned SCS youth programs, I also shared a household budget, meals, and home with my community—striving to exist vulnerably in relationship, to be mindful of power dynamics and injustice, aware of the sacred, and in tune with what is needed to live fully. These values were heavily woven into my time at SCS. Crafting our youth programs served as a reminder that we are more effective together. 4-H is a community-based program—successful because of community support. We rely on partners and volunteers for program spaces, instructors, and supplies. Through this involvement, I see commitment to a resilient community and to our young people. It is a group effort to prepare the next generation for the complex challenges and opportunities they will face. Further, our programs aim to be culturally relevant, experiential, and intergenerational. We lay a strong foundation for civic engagement, teach the sustainable use of resources, and foster relationships with the natural world. These values are a challenge to fulfill. Centered on people and place, they represent an ideal of living together well. My year has been full of mutual expectations and accountability­ —at home, in my 4-H role, and in Sitka. These communities ask me to be better than I would be alone; an immensely valuable experience for me and for us all, as we strive towards a resilient and sustainable future.

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Mardis Gras

St. Lazaria Wildlife Refuge est. 1909

WORKING TOGETHER TO TEACH VALUES Sitka National Historic Park and Sitka Tribal educator Mark Sixbey began leading Southeast Alaska Traditional Art classes in the fall. Open to all youth enrolled in 4-H, these sessions incorporated language, culture, and history, all while engaging kids in a variety of art projects. Youth began each class by working on formline style coloring sheets and practicing new Tlingit and Tsimshian vocabulary before beginning work on a larger project. Ranging from dance paddles to tinnas, these projects consistently captured the attention and imagination of each child. Mark invited participants to share in these skills and knowledge rooted in cultural identity—key values that reflect what it means to grow up in Southeast Alaska. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 11


MARCH 20

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A mid-summer sun sets upon an alpine pond as we hike our favorite ridge trail in the Tongass. The nearby deer cabbage, glowing in their most exuberant state, make a nutritious feast for the Sitka Blacktail Deer.


Month Photo: © Rafe Hanson Photography. Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Clarice Johnson, © Clarice Johnson, © Amelia Milling.

ENVIRIONMENTAL JUSTICE ON THE TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST SUNDAY

KATIE RILEY Policy Engagement Director

Keeping the Roadless Rule on the Tongass National Forest received overwhelming support from the general public during the rulemaking process. Despite this, politicians and special interest groups have worked to remove these protections since their implementation in 2001. The newest attempt to roll back Roadless Rule protections and open protected areas on the Tongass to clearcut logging has pitted the State of Alaska against widespread public sentiment and tribal governments. The Organized Village of Kake has been a steadfast advocate for the protection of their lands and waters for many years. The watersheds and oldgrowth forests on the lands of the Keex’ Kwaan, or Kupreanof and Kuiu Island, have sustained the Kake tribe for millenia. Now, Organized Village of Kake’s Executive Director Dawn Jackson, an SCS partner, is organizing to protect the forest to which her culture’s way of life is inextricably linked. Dawn is a strong Tlingit woman, proud of her identity and her resilient community, which depends on healthy old-growth forests on their traditional territory in Keex Kwaan. “When we look at the landscape and clearcuts, it’s pretty traumatic on everything surrounding us,” says Jackson. “Since contact with the western world, there’s a lot of historic trauma in our community that we are healing from as well. It’s integrating traditional ways into our lifestyle that is helping us to heal. Whether it’s through arts, culture camp, or going out on the boat, or hiking— just becoming more familiar with our lands around us is a healing experience for everyone. I feel like it’s our duty, to fight for these last remaining ties to our lands.” Sitka Conservation Society is honored to work with leaders such as Dawn Jackson and the Organized Village of Kake in our effort to keep the Roadless Rule on the Tongass.

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Seward's Day

ORGANIZING ON THE ROADLESS RULE AND INFLUENCING POLICY This summer, we walked the docks and worked from commercial fishing boats to connect with the people who have the highest stake in Tongass forest management: Southeast Alaskan fishermen. We spent time with the fleet in Sitka, Ketchikan, Haines, Pelican, Port Alexander, and Tenakee Springs to elevate the voices of commercial salmon fishermen who depend on the Tongass for healthy salmon habitat. Hundreds of Southeast Alaska salmon fishermen signed a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, requesting to keep the Roadless Rule in place on the Tongass National Forest.

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 13


APRIL 20

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Haa shukaadéi Wóoch.een yagaxtookoox. We will go forward into our future together.


Month Photo: © Bethany Goodrich Photography. Below: © Amelia Milling, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Lione Clare Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography.

HONOR THE HERRING — YAAW KOO.EEX’ SUNDAY

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CHANDLER O'CONNELL Community Catalyst

Koo.eex’ means “to invite.” It’s a Tlingit ceremony that honors the ancestors, the relationships, and the history of the Tlingit people. It can be an occasion of both mourning and celebration. During the April of 2019 Koo.eex’, guests from Sitka, Kake, Juneau, Wrangell, Angoon, Hoonah, Yakutat, and elsewhere took the time to connect, learn from each other, and honor the integral role the herring play in the Tlingit way of life, haa kusteeyi, and in the local ecosystem—herring nourish the salmon, the birds, the whales, and more. A spirit of collaboration and shared learning was felt at the event, starting with the invitations, which were made to the community at large, and the co-hosts—the Kiks.ádi, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the Herring Rock Water Protectors standing together, with support from a number of local organizations, including the Sitka Conservation Society. Oral accounts dating back further than written records document Sheet’ka Kwáan as a gathering place for the Tlingit people to come share in the bounty of herring eggs. Visitors would land their canoes at Ghajáa Héen (Old Sitka) and dress in their regalia after which they would make the last leg of the journey to Aaya Aak’w (Japonski Island) for a traditional welcome from the local Sheet’ka Kwáan clans. This year’s Honor the Herring Koo.eex’ was meant as a homage to and a renewal of these traditional travels and was timed to coincide with the hoped for return of the herring. By coming together as has been done since time immemorial, the Koo.eex’ was an act of sovereignty, culture, and community building. Relationships were strengthened, connections with the natural world were reaffirmed, and power built. We hope to see you at next year’s event!

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MAKING SUSTAINABLE CONNECTIONS SCS supported multiple convenings in Sitka this past year that brought residents and visitors together to connect and share. The 2019 Farmer’s Summit was attended by people passionate about local foods from 19 communities. The Herring Koo.eex’ saw hundreds march through Sitka before celebrating at ANB Hall. The Nature Conservancy’s Community, Economy & Place Initiative connected folks from Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington to discuss community development. The Sustainable Southeast Partnership’s retreat in Sitka was the best-attended in the network’s history. Rock the Dock and the Wild Foods Potluck bound together a diverse cross-section of Sitka over love of community and environment. Collaboration and reciprocal exchange are thriving in Southeast! SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 15


MAY 20

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Working as a team, shoulder to shoulder, this family of Orca whales swims through inlets, passages, fjords, and tidal rips. They move throughout the Tongass National Forest, inspiring awe and wonder wherever they go.


Month Photo: © AlaskanGrace Photography. Below: © Lione Clare Photography, © Amelia Milling, © Amelia Milling, © Crossroads Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Lione Clare Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography.

DEVELOPING A WORKFORCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY CATHY NEEDHAM

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OWNER, KAI ENVIRONMENTAL

SCS is one of the founding partners of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership (SSP), a collection of businesses, organizations, individuals, and tribal governments who are dedicated to building cultural, economic, and ecological prosperity in Southeast Alaska. SSP frequently looks to Kai Environmental to build workforce development initiatives in the Tongass National Forest. Cathy Needham is the familiar face and force behind this Alaskan business and a catalyst of many inspiring projects across our rural communities. Born in Ketchikan, Needham is a driven Tsimshian and Haida entrepreneur. She grew up during economic booms that were not sustainable. However, she believes firmly that there is a balance between creating job opportunities and managing local resources responsibly. Her business contracts with tribal governments, organizations, and land managers to create opportunities that put locals to work on the lands and waters they know, depend on, and love. From Natural Resource Academies that provide training in a wide array of stream habitat and forestry work, to sockeye weir operations, Cathy has helped initiate it all. Why is this work great? “It is great because we are empowering people to get outside and work on the land and understand how it works better...Some of the people we work with, they just wanted a job when they started but now they are actually thinking about, well this is what the landscape looks like, this is what I want it to look like, this is how this data is important and they become invested in what they are doing. And, the coolest part is that they’re local so they’re now interested in things they can bring back and apply locally.” Through SSP, SCS works to amplify the efforts of our partners to ensure that Alaskans are trained to work local lands and that land managers look to our communities for guidance and important data to inform more sustainable management strategies into the future.

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S AT U R DAY

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GETTING YOUTH INVOLVED Alaska has the only national system for managing subsistence harvest of fish and wildlife. Citizens propose regulations to local “Regional Advisory Councils” who take them to Federal land management representatives, public stakeholders, and Native community leaders. For two years, SCS has helped sponsor a dual enrollment high school class with University of Alaska Southeast to teach students about this process and take them to Federal Subsistence Board meetings to learn how to be involved experientially. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 17


JUNE 20

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She was skinny and young, still learning. But she was driven and had the skills in her blood; she didn’t stop trying. We watched her work the creek in front of Fred's Creek Cabin, and each time we could see that she was getting better.


Month Photo: © AlaskanGrace Photography. Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Lione Clare Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography.

IN ALASKA, SALMON UNITE US HEATHER BAUSCHER Tongass Community Organizer

We Alaskans are Salmon People. Our state is vast, but we are close-knit: connected to each other by the salmon that sustain us. As the fisherman follows the fish, throughout the year you will find us in fishing communities across Southeast and coastal Alaska. In moments of triumph and tragedy, we are united. When a boat goes down, we come together. And when dangerous policy decisions threaten our fishing families and our way of life, we come together to create a sustainable future. Across the state, we are involved in gear groups, advisory boards, and conservation organizations: we have a huge stake in salmon conservation in Alaska. This year, Southeast Salmon People raised our voices on salmon habitat issues statewide. We spoke out in opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine, to protect the sacred Chilkat, and to defend our home: the Tongass National Forest. The fate of our communities, old-growth forests, and salmon streams are inextricably linked to protecting salmon habitat in these places. Just as the forest depends on the salmon, so too does Southeast rely upon salmon fisheries statewide. Bristol Bay supplies the majority of the world’s wild sockeye, including to local businesses Sitka Salmon Shares and Northline Seafoods. Healthy fish habitat on the Chilkat River feed salmon into Lynn Canal; this provides 60% of the coho salmon that support our gillnet fleet in Boat Harbor and our troll fleet in Cross Sound. Closer to home, salmon watersheds on the Tongass produce 80% of salmon caught in Southeast. It is fundamentally important that we manage our natural resources wisely to protect our way of life. United by salmon, we are innovative and hard-working. We will support each other to protect our sacred lands. Bound together by this vital resource and our love for this place, we will ensure that future generations grow up on the bounty of wild salmon.

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Father's Day Sitka Natl Historic Park est. 1890

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COLLABORATIVE LAND MANAGEMENT The Hoonah Native Forest Partnership (HNFP) is a landscape-scale community planning process in Southeast. It drives collaboration between regional landowners, land managers, tribes, and the community to leverage federal funding and accomplish significant data collection and analysis. This data led to recommendations for an all-lands approach to conservation, restoration, and natural resources management. Sharing information from the ground up and across communities is essential for building resiliency in Southeast. With funding from the National Forest Foundation and support from the Meridian Institute and Sustainable Southeast Partnership, we sponsored a review of HNFP to inform collaborative land management projects across Southeast Alaska. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 19


JULY 20

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The Tongass is one big estuary. Biologically and economically rich, it is a place where salt water mixes with fresh water. The Tongass is a large fish factory and the estuary is its production line.


Month Photo: © Rafe Hanson). Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Shresha Karmacharya.

SITKA: A COMMUNITY BUILT ON WILD ALASKAN SALMON ELLIE HANDLER

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Public Lands Communication Fellow (2018-2019)

In Sitka, our community is built on wild salmon. Salmon fill our rivers, our bellies, our freezers, and our economies. Working at the Redoubt Lake weir with the Forest Service opened my eyes to the importance of salmon in our community. On the sunny days of July, it felt like all of Sitka had come out to Redoubt to harvest subsistence sockeye. The falls were packed with people dipnetting while others snagged from boats in the saltwater. Others were swimming in wetsuits, disappearing under the water to spear sockeye. Though everyone has their preferred techniques and their favorite spots, Sitkans gather at Redoubt with one goal in mind: harvesting wild salmon. Dipnetting for sockeye stocks our freezers, feeding families through the winter. Beyond the nutritional and economic benefits, salmon are our way of life. Kids too young for school join their parents fishing, learning the cultural importance of salmon from their families. That commercial fishing is a huge driver of our economy is never clearer than in the summer, when openers are the talk of the town and we all know where the successful fishing has been. From Redoubt Bay to Salisbury Sound, fishing boats move across the region, chasing wild salmon as they follow the scent back to their natal streams. Wild salmon, reared in the rivers and lakes of the Tongass National Forest, support one in every ten jobs in Southeast Alaska. Intact oldgrowth forests sustain healthy waters, spawning and rearing habitat for all five species of Pacific salmon. The Sitka Conservation Society works to protect the most important salmon producing habitat on the Tongass and ensure that the Forest Service is prioritizing salmon habitat restoration and protection. The salmon we eat and the salmon we share with one another build our bodies and our community. We are a people made from salmon, and the intimate relationship we have with salmon binds our community together.

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WORKING TOGETHER TO MANAGE THE TONGASS For the past three years, the Sitka Conservation Society has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and the Alaska Fellows Program to host the Public Lands Communications Fellow. The fellows have worked between SCS and the Forest Service, expanding the Forest Service’s storytelling capacity and supporting SCS’s mission to protect the Tongass National Forest. The young people who have held this position have all continued to work on the Tongass—from monitoring the Redoubt Lake sockeye weir to removing invasive plants in the Duncan Salt Chuck Wilderness Area.

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 21


AUGUST 20

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A Blood Star set against the black lava rock of Kruzof Island’s volcanic coast. Derived from oceanic crust, the rock forms the reefs and black sand beaches of southern Kruzof Island's marine and intertidal environments.


Month Photo: © Bethany Goodrich Photography. Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Amelia Milling, © Amelia Milling, © AlaskanGrace Photography.

RENOVATING THE FRED'S CREEK AND ALLAN POINT FOREST SERVICE CABINS SUNDAY

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GRACE HARANG

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Cabin Project Photographer

Flipping through the worn Fred’s Creek cabin log, you’ll encounter voices from many walks of life. You’ll find inspired scribbles, elaborate drawings of the volcano watching over us, poets, and fact-recorders. So many families grateful for a refuge away from town that has solid walls, letters haphazardly signed in all caps by their youngest members. The Forest Service cabins that are scattered all through the ocean channels and inlets surrounding Sitka are an invaluable resource to locals and visitors alike. My name is Grace Harang, and I have spent my life bumbling along barnacle encrusted beaches and sogging through the spongy muskeg of the Tongass, and I couldn't be more thankful for our public lands and facilities. My family and I use these cabins as adventure outposts, and I have many warm memories of watching humpbacks languidly swim by and huge brown bears delicately pick wild berries outside the cabin’s windows. This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to document a partnership between SCS and USFS on a project renovating Fred’s Creek and Allan Point cabins. Both of the cabins were improved and updated by local work crews and the addition of locally sourced yellow cedar lumber. I wasn't sure what to expect going into these projects with SCS, but what I found greatly expanded my perspective on the importance of Forest Service cabins. Nestled in swaths of public lands, these peaceful cabins are used to encourage an appreciation for the land and its inhabitants that is unparalleled. I had the honor to work with amazing people who reflected the awe and spirit of exploration that the Tongass inspires deep within. I loved the contrast of people who helped finish both cabin projects: local construction workers, fire department volunteers, partners, friends, children, and dogs. Such a broad network of people from different walks of life, all connected in the roots by the shared passion of protecting and enjoying our rainforest.

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THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE PROJECTS The Sitka Conservation Society, the United States Forest Service, the National Forest Foundation, and T.M Construction worked together this summer to renovate the Fred’s Creek and Allan Point Cabins. These cabins are part of a whole network of recreational facilities on National Forest lands that include campsites, trails, cabins, and picnic areas. These cabins are beloved by the public and showcase the importance of National Forest management programs. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 23


SEPTEMBER 20

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Across the water we hear a bellowing roar: A Steller Sea Lion gliding sleekly through the waves. Is he celebrating a fish caught or lamenting the painful rockfish spine stuck in his cheek?


Month Photo: © AlaskanGrace Photography. Chola Moll Photograph © Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media. Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Clarice Johnson, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Lione Clare Photography.

TEACHING SCIENCE WITH PLACE BASED EDUCATION CHOLA MOLL

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MT. EDGECUMBE HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY TEACHER

The Sitka Conservation Society supports science education in a variety of ways. They act as mentors to student interns, support curriculum development, and engage students in hands on field and policy work, to name a few. These partnerships help create meaningful connections for students to place and community. One curriculum tool I created with the Sitka Conservation Society was a Place Based Science Curriculum Framework. The purpose of this framework is to give educators who work with youth the tools to develop place based scientific research experiences for students. Placed based education is when educators utilize their local environment to meet the learning objectives. Education standards are often written in a way that allows educators to use them as a guide and be creative in the delivery of the content. What better way to make content applicable to students than by using the local environment and resources of the place in which students are living and learning? For science classes, one important benefit to place based education is instilling the value of stewardship. When students learn more about the environment in which they live, they begin to see things differently, pay more attention to what is around them, and want to protect it for generations to come. Doing real science with students often gets messy! Things don’t go exactly as planned, they take too much or not enough time. More often than not, the results are not as expected. The real world of science is messy and it is a great opportunity for students to experience that. For teachers it can be a bit daunting to find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to say, ‘I don’t know, let’s see if we can figure this out together!’ This method of teaching may be a challenge, but if you start out small and build from there you will find the value of letting students be the guide and the local environment be the catalyst to some surprising learning outcomes.

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SITKA HIGH SCHOOL ON KRUZOF Sitka High teacher Stacy Golden went above and beyond with her high school Field Science l class and used the Tongass as a classroom to fulfill state science standards. Students conducted field work on Kruzof Island, collecting water samples, analyzing soil cores, and recording species density and diversity. To round off the project, SCS staff added the critical component of teaching students how to be responsible citizen scientists and to advocate for their public lands and environment.

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 25


OCTOBER 20

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The pelagic Murre flies swiftly over the ocean surface seeking out the shoals of herring, sand lance, and squid. It then swims deep into the depths of the ocean and fishes for its prey alongside king salmon, sea lions, and humpback whales.


Month Photo: © Lione Clare Photography. Below: © Amelia Milling, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Jasmine Shaw.

LIVING WITH THE LAND AND BUILDING COMMUNITY 4-H PROGRAM JASMINE SHAW

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Sitka Conservation Society Board Member

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service connects Alaska’s diverse peoples and communities with their state university system, making research and skillbuilding activities accessible to the public. As the Sitka representative for Extension Services, I create and support programs that are relevant to life here in Southeast. Since 2011, SCS has been an important partner, co-leading the local 4-H Alaska Way of Life program and being the host organization for Sitka Kitch, a community kitchen that provides a space for food education classes. The partnership with SCS means that our 4-H Alaska Way of Life programming has a particular focus on growing civically engaged, young leaders who enjoy, value, and respect the natural world of the Tongass. We achieve this vision by collaborating with local volunteers—including many SCS members—to teach youth how to live with the lands and waters around them. We help youth learn skills from elders and peers and help them form positive relationships and values. Sitka Kitch and 4-H classes are diverse. We’ve done camping, hiking, kayaking, boat-building, wild edible harvesting, survival skills, animal tracking, bird house building, species identification, ecosystem explorations, natural dyes, deer processing, sewing, art-making, paddle carving, snack making (and eating!), food preservation (jam-making, fermentation, drying, smoking, canning), fish fileting, cooking with wild foods (seaweed, mushrooms, fish, berries), regional, and world cuisines, and more! Together we are committed to living sustainably on the Tongass, from the way we harvest, process, preserve, and cook our food to the way we raise our youth. Moving forward, we are working to continually improve the accessibility and equity of these opportunities by expanding scholarships, initiating new partnerships, and developing outreach. If you would like to get involved, please reach out.

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NATURAL DYES 4-H SUMMER CAMP Our summer camps help youth gain skills, form intergenerational and peer connections, and develop wonder and respect for the natural world. The Natural Dyes summer camp was a partnership with SCS Board Member Marian Allen and local dye expert Darlene Orr. These leaders donated their time to create a learning experience that blew participants away: parents said it was the best 4-H Camp ever. Campers harvested Labrador tea and alder leaves and learned to work with those materials and other donated natural dyes. We made onion skin scarves and dyed wool skeins with nine different colors. The last day we played with pH and indigo and youth brought in their own items to dye. We called it magic day! SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 27


N0VEMBER 20

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We were together when they exploded above us: the Northern Lights in their full glory. Their radiant, spinning electrons danced long into the night, invigorating us and illuminating the path ahead.


Month Photo: © Rafe Hanson Photography. Below: © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography, © Bethany Goodrich Photography.

AN UNLIKELY HIKER IN THE TONGASS: A REFLECTION ON MY TIME AT SCS AMELIA MILLING Eco-Advocacy and Communications Intern

Thanks to the Alaska Conservation Foundation’s Ted Smith Conservation Internship program, I joined the SCS team this summer. I absorbed fresh rainforest air, ate unlimited berries, practiced sustainable and healthy ways of living, and explored local waters. During the amazing activities with the community of Sitka, I also learned how to engage with SCS members through social media and storytelling. This summer was my first visit to the Tongass in Southeast Alaska and I was struck by its many layers of beauty. Once you walk under the canopy of the ancient forest, you are greeted by the misty, crisp air, and the incredibly tall trees that make your neck crook while looking up! Merely being present in the outdoors has proven to help mental health and I can confirm this from my own experiences. I'm deaf and, yeah, I am also not exactly what society normally considers "in shape." I'm a big person who huffs and puffs while pulling big steps up the mountain. However, I have never allowed society's view of my disability to stop me from going outside and being active at my own pace. To be an unlikely hiker means I get to see our public lands with a unique perspective. Since I do not hear, I am an extremely visual artist and person. On clear days, I am easily attracted to and calmed by panoramic views, while on cloudy days, I'm poring over the tiniest details such as a piece of bark or the bottom of mosses. While you're out on any trail, you never know who you're going to run into. That's the beauty of public lands: they are here for everyone and anyone to respectfully enjoy. Just because people like me are not always seen on the covers of outdoor magazines, it does not mean we're not out here. We are people with disabilities, people of size, people of color, people of preferred gender, and people who utilize the outdoors to aid mental health. I will continue to explore my public lands, and I hope you do too. Maybe I’ll meet you on the trail!

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THE TED SMITH INTERNSHIP The Sitka Conservation Society has partnered with the Alaska Conservation Foundation for nearly two decades to host summer interns through the Ted Smith Conservation Internship Program. Ted Smith was a long-time supporter of SCS and helped us become a staffed organization with long-term and strategic programs. In our work with Ted, we always knew that he was thinking in terms of decades rather than just next year. The intern program is the same: we use it to introduce people to Alaska and the sustainability and conservation work that we do. We give our interns the experience and skill-set so that they can continue the core ideals, values, and long-term thinking in both their lives and careers. This is what Ted Smith taught SCS to strive towards. SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 29


DECEMBER 20

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It is upon us now. They were warned and they knew, but little had been done and it not nearly enough. They prioritized themselves, and didn’t think about what they left for us. This beautiful sky, these beautiful colors, this sadness, and this fear.


Month Photo: © Bethany Goodrich Photography. Below: © Amelia Milling, Frosty Pines (© Bethany Goodrich Photography, © KCAW, Emily Kwong.

YOUTH TAKING ACTION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE SARAH O'LEARY

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SCS Communications and Engagement Specialist

From kindergarteners to college students, it is the goal of the Sitka Conservation Society to foster the next generation of leaders who are equipped to handle the challenges of the future and solve problems that we cannot foresee. The world is changing rapidly and, as climate change causes everything from warming ocean temperature to shifting weather patterns, the earth will be drastically different in the imminent future. The majority of those in power in our state and nation are refusing to tackle climate change, even though its effects are felt more intensely with each season. These supposed leaders are failing us. And yet, there is hope. Hope is found in developing resilient youth ready to steward the earth, create solutions, and improve the lives of our most vulnerable. Young people are learning to lead on a local, state, federal, and global scale. Our strategy includes sharing intergenerational knowledge, teaching essential skills, including hunting, fishing, gathering and gardening, and programming that fosters civic engagement and environmental advocacy. SCS youth programs are founded on love and respect for the land and cultures of Southeast Alaska. Young and old, those of us who make our homes on Lingít Aaní–whether our people have been here since time immemorial or if we arrived recently–understand the necessity of intact ecosystems, thriving salmon runs, and healthy forests for our bellies and souls. Around Southeast Alaska, children are overheard talking about herring eggs and how many fish should be taken from our oceans to ensure productive fisheries for the future. The youngest among us understand that climate change is upon us. They know that soon they will be responsible for leading in an unknown world. Across the globe and at home, we are inspired by young leaders boldly taking action and speaking truth about the world we share. Their strong voices are shaping our changing future.

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YOUTH RALLYING IN SOLIDARITY On October 29th, 2018, Sitka youth held a climate rally in solidarity with the young people who sued the federal government for failing to lessen fossil fuel emissions in the case Julianna vs. the United States. Six youth spoke, demanding that our government take action on climate change. Killian DeTemple, a 2019 Pacific High graduate, said: “Those contributing most to the state of the world are not those in our homes and daily lives, but those in corporate offices and executive meetings. It is these people who bleed the byproduct of their profit into our oceans and waterways, suffocate our atmosphere with our carbon haze, and pretend like they care while doing all of it. As individuals, our voice may not always feel heard and to corporations even less so. But this cannot stop us.” SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 31


TOGETHER WE ARE

SCS

The Sitka Conservation Society team is made up of the following staff and board, as well as community members like you.

Marian Allen

Heather Bauscher

Charles Bingham

Debra Brushafer

Ben Clark

Carly Dennis

Board Member

Tongass Community Organizer

Sitka Kitch

Treasurer

Board Member

Community Organizer

Steve Fish

Bethany Goodrich

Melissa Hamilton

Ellie Handler

Grace Harang

Jill Hayden

Vice President

Communications Director

President

Public Lands Communication Fellow (2018-2019)

Cabin Project Photography

Living with the Land and Building Community Jesuit Volunteer (2019 – 2020)

Mary Alice Henry

Clarice Johnson

Brendan Jones

Lauren Kenney

Mariah Leeseberg

Judith Lehmann

Office Manager

Board Member

Secretary

Board Member

Board Member

Staff Photo and Back Cover Photo: © Bethany Goodrich Photography. Opposite: © Rafe Hanson Photography.

4-H Camp Coordinator


Maia Mareš

Andrew Martin

Dane McFadden

Amelia Milling

Ariel Miller

Olan Moore

Digital Organizer

Mt. Edgecumbe Student Intern

Board Member

Eco-Advocacy and Communications Intern

Cabin Project Construction

Cabin Project Construction Lead

Ryan Morse

Richard Nelson

Sophie Nethercut

Keith Nyitray

Chandler O'Connell

Kevan O'Hanlon

Community Catalyst

Living with the Land and Building Community Jesuit Volunteer (2018 – 2019)

Graphic Designer and Content Coordinator

Board Emeritus

Researcher and Writer

Board Member

Sarah O'Leary

Emily Pound

Muriel Reid

Tristan Rhoads

Carolyn Rice

Katie Riley

Communications and Engagement Specialist

Community Sustainability Organizer, 4-H and Community

Cabin Project Construction

Public Lands Communication Fellow (2019-2020)

Policy Engagement Director

Storyteller for Change

Calendar design by Ryan Morse. Thank you to Andrew Thoms, Sarah O'Leary, Sophie Nethercut, the SCS staff, and partners for contributing their writing and editing skills. A tremendous thank you to all of the incredible photographers who contributed this year!

Claire Sanchez

Spencer Severson

Krystina Scheller

Jasmine Shaw

Community Sustainability Organizer, 4-H and Community

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

The Sitka Conservation Society works to protect the natural environment of the Tongass, the nation’s largest National Forest, while supporting the development of sustainable communities all across Southeast Alaska.

Andrew Thoms Executive Director

For more information or to contact us, visit our website at www.sitkawild.org Visit us on our Facebook (sitkawild1), Vimeo (sitkawild), and Instagram (@sitkawild) pages!

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY | 33


PROTECTING THE TONGASS FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS The Sitka Conservation Society, Alaska’s oldest conservation organization, works to protect the natural environment of the Tongass, the nation’s largest National Forest, while supporting the development of sustainable communities all across Southeast Alaska. This calendar and annual report is full of beautiful images of the Tongass and stories of how SCS works to protect it. Thank you for your support.

201 Lincoln Street, Suite 4 Sitka, Alaska 99835 info@sitkawild.org (907) 747-7509 www.sitkawild.org


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