The first of six boat tours to take place throughout the summer. Mark your calendars!
- June 1st, Saturday 10am
- June 11th, Tuesday 5:30pm – Cancelled
- June 27th, Thursday 5:30pm
- July 23rd, Tuesday 5:30pm
- August 13th, Tuesday 5:30pm
Check back soon for more information on tour topics and speakers. See you on the boat!
A special thanks to Allen Marine for offering discounted charter prices for our non-profit summer tours, which makes this series possible.
THIS CLASS IS FULL. To sign up for the waiting list, send your name, email and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org..
SCS is organizing a spring edibles course with the Kayaani Commission and instructors Scott Brylinsky and Kitty LaBounty. Students will learn how to identify, harvest, and prepare wild edibles from three distinct habitats in the Tongass.
Registration is required for all three classes:
May 7 and 9, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m
May 11 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
The class is free and space is limited. For more information or to register contact email@example.com or call 747-7509
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.
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)
“You’re going to want to burn two and then mark it 13.5,” Judi says to her workshop buddy Linda. Linda carefully measures across a piece of hemlock harvested from Starrigavan Valley and marks it with a pencil. She pulls out the tape measure and goes over it again (measure twice and cut once!) as Judi confirms the pencil lines and arrows. Judi grabs the ‘worm saw’ (a powered skillsaw) and starts ripping the board as Linda holds it down and observes.
After a piece of wood drops to the floor, both women carefully inspect the cut, running their fingers along the edge then nodding in approval. It’s not perfect but pretty close. “We can fix that when we sand it,” Linda says.
We’ve come a long way from our first workshop class when we built our saw horses, making sure to pad the top of them with ‘sacrificial’ wood. The sacrificial wood being scrap that we don’t mind chipping, cutting and scarring as a result of our novice woodworking abilities. Our first class began with instructions from Marcel LaPerriere, local craftsman and owner of Southeast Cedar Homes. He gave us the basic DOs and DON’Ts of the wood shop as we eyed the unfamiliar gadgets and tools that surrounded us. The next few meetings we learned how to use tools, how to change drill bits and saw blades and the difference between crosscut and plane cut. Despite our rapidly growing repertoire of skills and vocabulary, we were still short on confidence, often having to encourage one another to take the helm when it was time to start up a saw. Now, class participants are confidently using saws, drill presses, and are continually awestruck all while being steeped in the delicious smell of fresh cut wood. Our class is small (eight participants) but maxes out the space in the wood shop. It is also a diverse group of women ranging from an opera singer to a retired teacher to a Sheldon Jackson summer camp organizer proficient in Chinese.
In April SCS and the Sitka Fine Arts Camp partnered to offer a ‘Women in Carpentry Workshop’. The workshop, a brain child of SCS board member Judi Lehman, and she thought it would tie in nicely with our young growth projects that were funded by the NFF Community Capacity and Land Stewardship program. The course provides locally harvested wood, tools, supplies and instruction from SCS board President Marcel LaPerriere. The product of the class is quite simple: six wooden benches to be placed at the Allen Auditorium on the SJ campus. The goal, however, is much more involved. SCS wanted to showcase young growth timber, contribute to the production of a local wood product and shed light on the quality and usefulness of young-growth timber. This class takes it one step further by providing an opportunity for women who had little to no experience with wood working to learn new skills and create something for the community.
One class member, Kenley, described why she decided to take the course: “I signed up because I really wanted to learn how to use power tools and wanted to gain skills for volunteering and life projects. I’ve learned so much already! The vocabulary and skills are foreign to me and I’ve reveled in learning the names of tools, techniques, and processes. I have a much deeper respect for how buildings are constructed and how wood objects are made. I’ve learned a lot about trees and wood and really appreciate Marcel’s dedication and patience in teaching this awesome class”. We aren’t quite ready to start building our dream homes, but we are learning and having fun along the way. For now, I just wish I could wield a planer or skillsaw fluidly and one handed like Marcel!
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!
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
Most Realistic Costume
Most Creative Costume
Best Local Animal
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:
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, Botanika, and 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Watch the trailer: http://350.org/math
Event details: http://act.350.org/event/do_the_math_movie_attend/4088
Check out this in-depth natural history of the Gavan Forest in Sitka, put together by naturalist Richard Carstensen. Download the report HERE.