The Tongass rainforest is quite simply one of the greatest wonders of our world. It is a place at once lost in geologic history and burgeoning with nascent biological phenomena. From the ice-scoured peaks to the mist-laden forests to the wave-washed beaches, the Tongass is beautiful. Wilderness is the beauty of the Tongass in its purest sense, distilled and preserved.
Our founders, the Calvins and Johnstones, realized this many decades ago when they fought hard to preserve large areas of land as a resource for the future. The Living Wilderness Fund acts to preserve and expand the areas they saved.
The goal of this endowment is to raise a sufficient sum of money (called the principal), which can be invested to earn interest. Once our first landmark goal has been met, this interest will be used each year to fund a staff position for Wilderness advocacy and eventually an entire Wilderness program. The principal, however, will remain intact forever.
In a sense, the Wilderness areas our founders protected act as “principal,” too. Our founders recognized that our livelihoods and personal satisfaction are integrally tied to the health of the Tongass, which provides our industry, our recreation, and our homes. By preserving large portions of pristine Wilderness, our founders were creating a principal that would continue to provide salmon, clean water, fresh air, and a place to rejuvenate, grow and learn. So long as that principal is large enough and remains intact, it will continue to provide interest in the form of healthy salmon and forests forever.
If you, too, recognize the value of preserving large areas of the Tongass as an investment in the future, we encourage you to look at the Living Wilderness Fund as one means to that end. Many years ago, the Calvins and the Johnstones made an important investment that we continue to benefit from. Let us now follow their example and celebrate their accomplishment by supporting the Living Wilderness Fund.
The Living Wilderness Memorial plaque celebrates the lives of our founders and of those who love wilderness. Donations may be made in a person’s honor to have his or her name added to the plaque.
If you would like to contribute to the Living Wilderness Fund:
1. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-747-7509 to discuss options.
2. If you would prefer to contribute online to the Fund, please click here.
How will the LWF be used as it grows?
As the Living Wilderness Fund grows, it will increasingly support the efforts of the Sitka Conservation Society to protect existing Wilderness Areas while advocating for additional Wilderness designations in the Tongass. The Fund currently encompasses just under $400,000.
When the Fund reaches $500,000…
Our first landmark goal is to reach $500,000. With this principal, the interest will be able to pay for a part-time staff position focused on wilderness advocacy.
When the Fund reaches $1 million…
At $1 million the interest will pay for a full-time wilderness advocacy position. This position will ensure that our Wilderness areas are constantly monitored, that threats to Wilderness are tracked and countered, and that emphasis is maintained on stricter protections and advocacy for additional Wilderness designations.
When the Fund reaches $1.5 million…
Once the fund reaches $1.5 million or more, the interest will fund an entire Wilderness program budget including full-time salary and project expenses, which would be independent of the general SCS budget. This means that no matter what the political or economic climate, SCS will always be true to our founders’ vision of Wilderness advocacy, and SCS will have more resources free to focus on other issue affecting the Tongass.
Wilderness protection has always been at the heart of the Sitka Conservation Society. Since our founding, our fundamental goal has been to protect existing Wilderness in the Tongass and advocate for more Wilderness designation for unique and important land. In the future, the Living Wilderness Fund will provide continued financial stability to ensure that our work efforts will not fade away.