Sitka Conservation Society
May 02 2013

Backwoods Lecture: 300 Years of Wilderness

Ever wonder where the idea of wilderness came from?

Follow the first explorers of Alaska, like Georg Steller, the German naturalist aboard the S/V Gabriel with Vitus Bering upon the first “discovery” of Alaska’s coast or the Episcopal priest Hudson Struck who made the first ascent of Denali, as they struggle to frame their experiences in this wild lands.  Look through John Muir’s eyes during his adventures in Glacier Bay.  Travel with Mardy and Olaus Murie’s to the interior rivers.  Explore the Brooks Range with Bob Marshall.  We will see how these writers formed the idea of wilderness, and how the wilderness inspired their writing.

This lecture will be presented by Adam Andis and is part of the Backwoods and Water Lecture Series.  Andis wrote his undergraduate thesis on wilderness in Alaskan nature writing.  He now manages the Wilderness Stewardship Program at Sitka Conservation Society.  He has a degree in Environmental Studies with emphasis in Wilderness Philosophy and is a founding board member of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance.

Sunday, May 12th from 5:00 to 6:00 pm at the Kettleson Library.

May 01 2013

Running the Country! Sitkans Plan to Take GMO Message Across the United States

SITKA CONSERVATION SOCIETY PARTNERS WITH RUNNING FAMILY!

 

Brett, Kris, David, and Olivia Wilcox are pleased to announce that the Sitka Conservation Society is now partnering with them as they run across America in their efforts to raise awareness about genetically modified organisms that can pose a danger to health and the environment. The Sitka Conservation Society has done extensive advocacy work opposing genetically modified salmon as well as community work to build sustainable food systems. They are partnering with Running The Country because of our joint concerns about genetically modified organisms.

 

The Wilcox family got their inspiration to run across the country in 2010 when David learned of a teen-aged girl who completed the transcontinental run. “I want to do that!” David said. Over time, David convinced Brett and Kris that he was serious. They decided they would run to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy food choices. “And a big part of healthy eating,” Brett states, “is knowing what’s in our food.”

 

If successful, David will become the youngest person to complete this run, and David and Brett will become the first father and son team to do so.

 

While undertaking the run, the Wilcox’s will stop at community centers, public events, scheduled talks, and in public forums, to speak about and raise awareness on genetically modified organisms, their run, and what people can do to secure a safe, non-GMO food supply.

The Sitka Conservation Society sees this project as a great partnership to raise awareness on these important issues. Executive Director Andrew Thoms is enthusiastic about the

program, “We are facing a really scary threat with genetically modified salmon in Alaska. Our community’s livelihoods are intricately connected to Wild Alaska Salmon. Introducing a Frankenstein salmon into the environment could cause disastrous consequences to our wild salmon stocks and our local industry. The more people that know about this threat, the better. Running The Country will help spread the word about what people want for our food system and counter the voices of large food corporations that are pushing GMO foods.”

 

David showed his appreciation for Alaska’s wild and natural environment while speaking at a “No GMO Salmon” rally in February in Sitka protesting potential FDA approval of the mutant fish. David quoted one of his inspirations in the rally, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

 

“GMO salmon is evil, David added. “By being here today and protesting against GMO salmon, you are standing up for what is right.”

 

“The GMO issue is especially important right now,” Brett says. “California’s Proposition 37 was narrowly defeated in November after Monsanto and other pro-biotech interests poured $46 million into the state, convincing people that GMO food labels would cost too much.”

 

A 2012 poll of likely voters found that 91% support labeling. (1) “People will argue for many years about the safety of genetically modified foods,” says Brett. “Safe or not, we have a right to know what’s in our food. We also have a right to know who’s profiting from our food choices. With Monsanto’s 100+ year legacy of pollution, corruption, and lies, I personally can not morally justify spending one dime on one Monsanto product.” (2)

 

Running across America is no small undertaking, and the Wilcox family is raising money and accepting contributions for their efforts. The runners gratefully accept credit cards, PayPal or donations by check. Donations may be made directly on the runners’ web site, runningthecountry.com.

 

All donations are tax deductible and a receipt will be provided.

 

For more information regarding the run and the GMO issue, please refer to runningthecountry.com.

 

1.  Mark Mellman, The Hill, April 17, 2012, http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/mark-mellman/222129-majority-want-more-labels-on-food

2.  Jeffrey M. Smith, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, (Yes! Books, Fairfield, IA, 2003)

Apr 26 2013

Summer Boat Tours – Back by Popular Demand

See new places, new perspectives and learn more about this wild place we live in!

Whether you are a born and bred Sitkan, or a recent transplant to the Tongass, the SCS Summer Boat Tour series offers an excellent opportunity to get out to explore and learn more about Sitka Sound and the Tongass. There will be six tours  throughout the summer, each about 2.5 hours.

These tours are for you! And we want to hear your ideas on topics and tours you would like see as a part of our Boat Tours this summer.  Visit our Facebook page, call our office (747-7509) or email Erin with your ideas.

Check back soon for updates on tour topics and tickets!

Apr 26 2013

Green Drinks!

Join SCS staff at Green Drinks, the monthly environmental get-together.  With no agenda and no membership or admission fees, Green Drinks is a nice way to have some informal conversation on whatever environmental or community topics you want to bring to the table.

This week’s event will be hosted by Tracy Gagnon, SCS’s Community Sustainability Organizer and will focus on local foods.  For more information, contact Tracy at 747-7509 or tracy@sitkawild.org.

Apr 25 2013

Parade of Species 2013

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2013 Parade of Species!  The costumes were creative, the activities were fun, and march was a truly WILD time!

We hope that you will remember to celebrate Earth Day every day and help us here at the Sitka Conservation Society to protect the natural environment of the Tongass and promote sustainable communities in Southeast!

 

Best Costume Winners:

Best Use of Recycled Materials

Silas Ferguson

 

 

 

Most Realistic Costume

Grace Clifton

 

 

 

Most Creative Costume

Finnan Kelly

 

 

 

Best Local Animal

Lena Keilman

 

 

 

Photos from the 2013 Parade of Species

We would especially like to thanks the following folks for helping to make this year’s parade such a huge success:

Costume Contest Judges

Judges: Steve Ash, Rita Mounayar, Heather Riggs, Pat Kehoe

Activities and booths by: The US Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, The National Park Service, Sitka Global Warming Group, Sitka Local Food Network, the Science Center, The Kayaani Commission, Jud Kirkness, Fish to Schools, 4H Alaska way-of-life, and Community Schools

Prizes and donations from: Harry Race, Ben Franklin, Lakeside, True Value, Botanikaand Allen Marine

Volunteers: Coral Pendell, Garrett Bauer, Josh Houston, Wendy Alderson

And everyone who made costumes, cheered on the marchers, and celebrated Earth Day with the Parade of Species!

Apr 23 2013

Science Sharing Night Monday, April 29th, 7:00 pm, UAS

Want to learn more about the genetics of Alaska yellow cedar or intertidal beetles, marine mammal bioacoustics, winter song bird hangouts, the effects of forest thinning on deer habitat, and stream chemistry?

The Second Annual Sitka Science Sharing Night from 7-8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29, at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus Room 229 will highlight the work by several student scientists from Sitka schools, including projects conducted through the Science Mentoring program. During the past school year, these students have been active stewards of our local forest, freshwater and marine ecosystems by developing and conducting their own research studies.

The Sitka Science Sharing Night gives these students a chance to share with the general public about their projects. It will be set up just like a poster session at a scientific conference, and the students will be available to share their work and answer questions.

This event features students from Sitka High School, Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Blatchley Middle School, and Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. Student projects are funded by the Sitka Charitable Trust, the National Forest Foundation, and the Bio-Prep Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Sitka Science Sharing Night is a joint project of the Sitka Conservation Society, Sitka Sound Science Center, UAS Sitka Campus, Sitka School District, and Mt. Edgecumbe High School. For more information, contact Kitty LaBounty at 738-0174 or Scott Harris at scott@sitkawild.org.

Apr 23 2013

“Do the Math” Film Screening – Thurs. April 25th

In honor of Earth Week, the Sitka Conservation Society invites folks to a screening of “Do the Math,” a thought provoking and action motivating film about the battle between the fossil fuel industry and our future as a species.  This film showing is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 25th, 7:30 pm

Larkspur Cafe
Watch the trailer: http://350.org/math
Event details: http://act.350.org/event/do_the_math_movie_attend/4088

Apr 10 2013

SCS Recommends: Black Oystercatchers: Their Ecology and History in Sitka Sound

Black Oystercatchers: Their Ecology and History in Sitka SoundThursday April 18th, 7:30pm room 229.David Tessler is with the Fish and Game http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifediversity.staff
Mar 12 2013

SCS Recommends: This Old Window Workshop ~ March 17th

Mar 04 2013

Women in Carpentry Workshop – April 4th

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  • Hungry for Huckleberry Pie, Venison Stew, or Fresh Greens? Come to the Wild Foods Potluck Nov. 2!
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  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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