Girl Scout Troop 4140 has been learning all about energy during their Get Moving Journey, which focuses on energy. The journey consists of three prestigious Girl Scout awards, each containing several projects within itself. In addition to the regular Journey requirements, Junior troop 4140 took an additional task of recording weatherization videos to promote energy efficiency. Join Girl Scouts from troop 4140 in this video to learn about light(two word)bulbs and how to choose more efficient lighting..
Weatherization 101 is a six part series produced by the Sitka Conservation Society and the City and Borough of Sitka Electric Department to help Sitkans increase their energy awareness, conserve electricity, and save money.
Video by Andre Lewis.
In 2007, the Sitka Conservation Society began a fruitful partnership with the City of Sitka Electric Department to initiate action on climate change in Sitka and to begin taking steps to become more energy efficient. The start of the partnership was a joint position that worked in the electric department to find ways for Sitkans to save energy and reduce their energy bills. One of the many outputs of the work was a series of educational brochures for Sitkans Below is how we introduced the results of this work to Alaska Senator Bert Stedman:
December 10th, 2007
Dear Senator Stedman,
We are pleased to announce the release of our series of brochures on energy conservation inSitka. These brochures are the end result of an ongoing collaborative project with the City and Borough of Sitka to identify, evaluate, and implement energy conservation measures that reduce energy demand inSitka, reduce energy costs forSitkaresidents, and reduceSitka’s environmental footprint on a local and global scale.
This project began in late 2006 when the Sitka Electric Department released a 28 year electric energy provision plan that identified an increase in demand for electricity that has the potential to outstrip total available electric supply. The high cost and potential environmental impact of new hydroelectric facilities alarmed our membership. However, a provision in the City’s plan identified energy conservation as part of a solution to reducing energy demand. The Sitka Conservation Society identified this section as a potential niche where we may be able to aid the city in developing energy conservation initiatives.
To help develop the energy conservation initiatives, we applied for a grant to pay for an intern with experience in energy policy and analysis that would work at the electric department with the electric department employees to identify possible energy conservation actions. After an extensive recruiting process at top Universities across the country, Amy Heinemann was chosen from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for the internship. Part of the needs she identified during her work inSitkawas public education on energy conservation possibilities and specific choices the energy consumer can make that will achieve results. These brochures were the results of some of her work.
This project is part of a continuing effort by the Sitka Conservation Society to offer “solutions” to the community that not only benefit our surrounding natural environment but also provide tangible and needed benefits to our community.
Please let us know if you would like more information on this work or any of our other initiatives or if you would like more copies of the brochures.
Download the brochures below:
The much anticipated deer stew has been put up, 37 pints worth! After months of patience, 4H members got to see their skinned and butchered deer turn into a shelf-stable food. And a delicious one at that! 4H members gathered around a large table full of ingredients that needed prepping. We rotated through different stations of washing and skinning potatoes, chopping garlic and onions, dicing carrots and celery, and slicing up deer and moose meat. We all commented on how together, as a community, we could accomplish so much. It brought me so much joy to be working alongside my new friends (young and younger..) putting up food until hunting season begins again next August.
After our raw ingredients were prepped we filled our jars with a little of this and a little of that. Potatoes, meat, carrot, onion, garlic and celery were layered in each jar and topped with salt, pepper, spices, and a little bit of a stock mix before carefully cleaning each jar rim and capping with a top and ring. The jars were then placed in two large pressure canners and once they reached a pressure of 10#s were cooked for 110 minutes. Once the timer alerted us that they were done, we turned off the heat letting the pressure and temperature come down naturally. Once it was safe to open, we removed the jars and delighted in the popping sound that comes with a finished product!
I have to say that this was an activity that I was really looking forward to. I feel more empowered when I can put up food for myself, knowing every ingredient and its source. I have learned that hunters are very close to the land, know its subtleties and patterns, and have a deep respect for the lives that they are taking for food. That respect is carried through the entire process from the hunt, to processing, and cooking. These 37 pints of deer stew carry with them stories of community and the gratitude of a life for a life. We will share these delicious jars with 4H volunteers, mentors, and elders to continue the story…
A big thank you to 4H Parent and Subsistence Biologist for the Forest Service, Jack Lorrigan for sharing this important skill with the 4H Alaska way-of-life Club!
Salmon are the lifeblood of Sitka’s economy, culture, and way-of-life and are a keystone species in the temperate rainforest ecosystems of the Tongass. Management of the Tongass has long focused on timber and historic logging practices were done in ways that severely damaged salmon runs. The Forest Service has since learned that stream beds shouldn’t be used as logging roads and that there needs to be buffers between logging and salmon streams. However, Forest Service management priorities and spending still overwhelmingly focus on timber harvest—even though salmon are really the drivers of the SE Alaska economy and the most valuable resource from the Tongass.
A group of fishermen are traveling to Washington, DC this week to lay out the facts for decision makers in Washington, DC. They will be delivering a stack of letters from hundreds of people who use and depend on Salmon from the Tongass and ask for a shift in budget priorities in Tongass management.
To take action to help us protect Tongass Salmon, click here.
Read the Press Release Below on their visit below:
“Salmon and trout alone are a billion-dollar industry in Southeast Alaska that sustains more than 7,000 jo
The U.S. Forest Service is the lead agency that manages the 17-million-acre Tongass National Forest, part of the world’s largest coastal temperate rain forest that covers most of Southeast Alaska and produces tens of millions of salmon every year. Southeast Alaska commercial salmon fishermen landed nearly 74 million fish during the 2011 season, a harvest worth more than $203 million—the most valuable in the state.bs either directly or indirectly. And yet the Forest Service budget remains squarely focused on timber and road building. It doesn’t make sense given the enormous value of fish
Sport fishing is also big business. Salmon and trout anglers in Southeast Alaska spent an estimated $174 million on trips, gear, and related expenses in 2007, according to economic research commissioned by Trout Unlimited. The
total economic output related to their purchases that year is estimated at $358.7 million. Salmon and trout angling also supported 2,334 jobs and generated $84.7 million in personal income in 2007. On average, sport anglers catch 900,000 salmon each year in Southeast Alaska. They also catch halibut, steelhead, trout, char, rockfish, lingcod, and other species.
Because of its stunning beauty, the Tongass draws more than 1 million tourists to Southeast Alaska every summer. Many come aboard cruise ships to view the forest’s snowcapped mountains, tidewater glaciers, pristine fjords and abundant marine and terrestrial wildlife, including brown bears, wolves and humpback whales.
Despite the bounty fishing and tourism provide to Southeast Alaska, the Forest Service budget fails to reflect this
“We hope the Forest Service will move funding in a new direction. It’s time to change the Forest
Service budget so that more money goes toward
managing the Tongass as the salmon forest it is,” said Jev Shelton, a longtime Juneau commercial fisherman who has served on many fishery boards, including the Pacific Salmon Commission.
For more than four decades, the Forest Service managed the Tongass primarily for old-growth timber produ
“There are fe
Check out this incredible video created by our good friend and local filmmaker, Hannah Guggenheim, documenting the “We Love our Fishermen Lunch” on 2/8/2012.
WE LOVE OUR FISHERMEN! The Fish to Schools Program began as a vision at the 2010 Sitka Health Summit and with community support and leadership from the Sitka Conservation Society, we are now working with over half of students enrolled in the Sitka School District. This program is a component of our Community Sustainability efforts and we hope through this program we can begin to build a stronger, more resilient local food system. Fish to Schools ensures that students, whose families may not generally be able to afford local fish, have access to it directly through the school lunch program. These lunches provide a boost of nutrients and Omega 3 fatty-acids, supports the sustainable fisheries of Alaska, and validates the backbone of this community and culture.
On February 8, 2012, fishermen were invited to both Keet and Blatchley Middle Schools. They joined students for their bi-monthly local fish lunch, bringing with them stories from the sea, fishing gear, and photos to make the connection between this profession and the fish on their plates. Both schools plastered the cafeterias with student-made posters, cards, and valentines thanking fishermen for their contribution to the program. Fishermen led students around the cafeteria with lures, created a longline set in the middle of the lunch room, and generated a lot of hype around the lunches.
Sitka Conservation Society would like the individually thank the following groups and individuals for making this special lunch a success: Seafood Producers Coop, Sitka Sound Seafoods, Nana Management Services, Staff at Keet and Blatchley, Beth Short, Wendy Alderson, Lexi Fish, Hannah Guggenheim, Andrianna Natsoulas, Jason Gjertsen, Terry Perensovich, Doug Rendle, Sarah Jordan, Eric Jordan, Matt Lawrie, Spencer Severson, Jeff Farvour, Beth Short-Rhodes, Stephen Rhodes, Kat Rhodes, Scott Saline, Charlie Skultka, Kent Barkau, Lew Schumejda, Bae Olney-Miller, and Jeff Christopher.
This lunch coincided with the beginning of the “Stream to Plate” lesson series with seventh graders in Ms. Papoi’s science class. The first of five lessons introduced students to how fish are caught in SE Alaska through subsistence, sport, and commercial fishing methods. The class began “back in time” as AK Native, Charlie Skultka, shared with students traditional methods of fish harvest. With models and relics from the SJ Museum, he demonstrated how fish traps and halibut hooks worked. Roby Littlefield, coordinator of Dog Point Fish Camp and Tlingit language instructor at Blatchley, showed students photos of students actually participating in current subsistence traditions. She told stories from camp and demonstrated how these practices continue today. Following their presentation, local fishermen Beth Short-Rhodes, Steven Rhodes, Jeff Farvour, and Steven Fish, shared with students how they commercially fish for salmon, halibut, rockfish, and blackcod. Students had the opportunity to interview and ask guests questions in small groups, developing a relationship with community members in town. This week students will learn about the importance of conservation and sustainability in fishing and more specifically how the Tongass is a Salmon Forest.
Dear Wisconsin Friends:
Greetings from Sitka, Alaska in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. I hope that you can all get up here to visit sometime and see what an amazing place it is. You should definitely come and visit too because most of the land around here you own. That’s right, it is almost all public lands in the National Forest system so it is essentially yours!
The town that I have been living in for the last 6 years since I left Wisconsin is right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. We have the ocean in front of town and mountains rising up in back. There are an infinite number of bays, fjords, island, and coves. It is a lot like the boundary waters area but with bigger mountains, temperate rainforests, salt water, and whales, sea lions, seals, killer whales, Brown Bears, and some glaciers. Most importantly, there are salmon!
The big issue I am working on right now is on protecting and restoring the Salmon on the Tongass. They were really damaged by awful and devastating clear-cut logging over the last few decades. This logging really impacted the ecosystems here and they are still healing. We are working diligently to restore the salmon streams. This is especially critical because my community and all the other communities in Southeast Alaska, depend on the salmon that come from the Forest. Commercial fishing, charter fishing, and subsistence fishing are all really important and is a core part of our way-of-life here.
The problem we are trying to fix right now is that the Forest Service is still spending about $30Million a year on timber harvest even through there is only about 150 jobs in timber. The fisheries and watershed budget on the Tongass, which is tasked with protecting and restoring salmon habitat, only gets $1.5 Million dollars, even though it employs over 4000 people. We want that funding to switch. We don’t want all timber harvest to go away… there is room for some logging. But the Tongass National Forest is really best managed to produce salmon.
I know that everyone in Wisconsin loves fish and I hope that you eat our Wild Alaska salmon. If you have, it probably comes from the Tongass.
I want to ask you to help us by writing to your Senator Kohl. He is on the committee that oversees that Forest Service budget. Next Thursday, he is going to be asking questions to the Forest Service chief. You can help us here by writing to the Senator and asking him to ask the Forest Service chief when they are going to shift funding on the Tongass to management for Salmon.
This would be an immense help for us and I think this is entirely doable. And I’ll also promise that if we are successful and your senator asks the Chief about the Tongass, I’ll come back to Wisconsin with a big cooler full of salmon and we’ll have a salmon Bar-be-Que at the church.
WRITE TO WISCONSIN SENATOR KOHL HERE: http://kohl.senate.gov/contact.cfm
If you write a letter, please send me a copy (make sure to put your address on it) so we can keep track and deliver them to him when fishermen from Alaska go to Washington to ask for this same budget shift. email@example.com
Here are some of the main points to mention:
- Over 35% of Salmon caught in the United States are born and spawn on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska
- Salmon fishing provides about six times as many jobs in the in the Tongass as the timber industry
- The Forest Service spends about $25 million on timber programs in the Tongass compared to $1.5 million on salmon stream restoration projects; those numbers need to be switched
- Senator Kohl is on the Budget Committee that oversees that National Forest Budget. He will be asking questions to the Forest Service chief on Thursday Febuary 17th. Tell Senator Kohl to ask the Forest Service chief when they are going to start to manage the Tongass for Salmon
You can get more information here: http://sitkawild.org/2012/01/action-alert-make-salmon-a-priority-updated/
In June of 2012, members of Wrangell’s Boy Scout Troop 40 joined forces with the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), the Sitka Conservation Society (SCS), the United States Forest Service and local volunteers to help remove invasive plants from the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness Area. The objective of the trip was to remove the aggressive reed cannery grass from the banks of the Twin Lakes by hand pulling the plants as well as covering areas with sheets of black plastic. The group also helped remove an enormous amount of buttercups and dandelions from the lakes’ shoreline.
However, the ultimate goal of the trip was to teach the Boy Scouts what it means to be good stewards of the land and the value of Wilderness areas like the Stikine. What better way is there to teach this lesson then to spend five days in the Wilderness learning these lessons first hand from the land and from each other?
After five days in the field, Troop 40 decided to adopt the Twin Lakes area as their ongoing stewardship project. They plan to return in the coming years to continue the work that they’ve started. It is community dedication like this that the Stikine and other wilderness areas require in order to remain pristine for future generations.
We are seeking an applicant who is comfortable identifying Pacific Northwest flora, documenting and cataloging herbarium quality samples as part of the Sitka Community Wilderness Stewardship Project. The Botany Intern will accompany the SCS Wilderness field crew on expeditions to identify, record, and collect plant specimens.
If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter to Adam Andis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This position is now closed.
Full position description:
Position Title: Wilderness Botany Intern Position
Host Organizations: Sitka Conservation Society (www.sitkawild.org)
Location: Sitka, Alaska
Duration: 12-week internship, June-Sept 2013
Compensation: Paid with stipend for travel from Seattle
Background: For over 45 years, Wilderness stewardship and advocacy have been core principles of the Sitka Conservation Society. SCS played the key role in the establishment of the West Chichagof-Yakobi in 1980. In 2009, with support from the Wilderness Stewardship Challenge grant program, SCS partnered with the local Forest Service District to conduct stewardship activities and recruit volunteers to collect data in the two Wilderness areas near Sitka (West Chichagof-Yakobi and South Baranof). The goal of this project is to ensure Wilderness areas meet a minimum management standard. One element the Forest Service has identified as a priority for this management standard is that Wilderness areas are “successfully treated for non-native, invasive plant species.” In addition to non-native species, we also collect data on rare and sensitive species as these species may be indicators of large forest dynamics. Working with the SCS staff and Field Crew, this intern position will participate in field expeditions to collect botanical survey data, record and catalog the findings.
Due to the high cost and difficult access of our field expeditions, SCS also partners with various organizations, agencies and institutions to collect additional data in may areas of study to get the biggest “bang for our buck.” This position may assist in collection of data for partnering projects.
This year, we will continue this project and expand its scope to other Wilderness areas in the Tongass, focusing on building the capacity of local groups to facilitate stewardship projects of their own. This intern position will present SCS’s botany work and help local groups in developing botanical components of their Wilderness stewardship projects.
Duties: The Wilderness Project Botany intern will work with SCS staff to implement the National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) Wilderness Stewardship Challenge while also raising awareness and community involvement in Wilderness related activities. The intern will be supervised by the Outreach and Wilderness Stewardship Coordinator.
- Participating in Wilderness trips with SCS and contracted staff
- Field identifying and collecting specimens for catalog
- Completing post-trip reports
- Managing the collection and tabulation of botanical survey data
- Assisting in the collection of other base-line data as needed
- Helping to lead Wilderness trips
- Writing articles for publication (i.e. journals, local news media, SCS newsletters, SCS website, etc.) about the Project and Tongass plant communities in Wilderness.
- Presenting work and conducting plant identification training to project partners
- Degree or current enrollment in a Botany program or related field.
- Interest and background in conservation, research, plant sciences.
- Pertinent work experience and field experience.
- Professional skills pertinent to the position.
Fiscal Support: The internship will provide a wage of $1,333/month (2 pay periods of 80/hours each) for 3 months. The host organization will also reimburse you the lowest cost round trip to/from Seattle to Sitka, up to $1,000.
Application will close March 31, 2013.
BACKGROUND: Clear-cut logging of the forests near False Island between 1967 and 1972 led to fast-paced, even-aged growth of new conifers, shrubs and herbaceous plants that is today causing serious problems for deer and other wildlife. After about 25 years of growth in a previously clear-cut area, conifers become so thick that understory shrubs and herbs are shaded out, virtually eliminating vital deer forage for over 100 years. Restorative thinning of the kind completed during the Ocean Boulevard project can help maintain a more open canopy and better habitat for the deer and other wildlife that local communities depend on for subsistence.
Ocean Boulevard was the first of an ongoing series of projects in the False Island landscape aimed at addressing a wide range of resource opportunities related to subsistence, ecosystem restoration, and recreation. Ocean Boulevard benefited from early collaboration with community stakeholders that went above and beyond the traditional U.S. Forest Service process (learn more here). Related projects include the Sitkoh River Restoration and Peril Landscape Opportunities Project.
STATS: In 2011, local contractor TM Construction thinned 334 acres of young growth forest with treatments that included 25 x 25 foot spacing and canopy gaps. Many of the downed trees were removed by ground-based equipment and either stored in a sort-yard for future sale, or tagged for in-stream use in the Sitkoh River Restoration Project that will be completed in 2012; others were cut into smaller pieces and left to decay in the forest.
INNOVATIONS: The U.S. Forest Service took an experimental approach with Ocean Boulevard, using it to test the costs and logistics involved in removing and storing downed trees after thinning. Better understanding these costs will help the Forest Service and community more realistically assess future opportunities to use “restoration byproducts” from the Sitka Ranger District for biomass, lumber, and other timber products.
FUNDING AND SUPPORT:Ocean Boulevard was funded by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and
was the first U.S. Forest Service project to involve input from the Sitka Collaborative Stewardship Group (SCSG).
Check out our briefing sheet to learn more about community input on the Ocean Boulevard Project: Ocean Boulevard Briefing Sheet.
Make Management and Protection of Wild Alaska Salmon a Priority in the Tongass National Forest!
Background: 5 species of Pacific Salmon spawn in the Tongass National Forest. For thousands of years, those salmon have played a key role for the peoples and cultures that make their home on the Tongass. Today, the connections and traditions between communities and salmon is still one of the most important associations that we have with the natural environment of the Tongass.
Take Action: Management of the Tongass National Forest is currently at a critical crossroads. As we begin to move beyond the ill-fated, industrial logging phase of Tongass Management, the region and the Forest Service is striving to define a new paradigm for Tongass Land Management. The decision makers who govern the Tongass need to hear from you now that management for Wild Alaska Salmon is the most important use of the Tongass National Forest.
You Can Help Now: by writing letters to Alaska State Senators, the Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, and the Alaska Regional Forester telling why Salmon are important for SE Alaska and how our dependence on the lands and the waters of the Tongass revolves around Salmon.
Here are some of the important points that you can highlight:
- Salmon are the backbone of the economy of SE Alaska
- The economic value and the jobs created by commercial harvest of Salmon is much greater than the economic value of the Timber industry—even though more money and resources are spent on the timber program ($30million) than salmon management and restoration ($1.5 Million).
- Salmon are important for both the local seafood industry, the SE Alaskan visitor industry, and rural communities who depend on subsistence fishing
- Subsistence harvest of salmon on the Tongass is one of the most important protein sources for SE Alaskans— outline how subsistence caught salmon are important for you
- Forest Service management of subsistence fisheries (such as Redoubt Lake) have enormous benefits for Sitka and other SE Alaskan Communities– expanding this program is critical
- Salmon Habitat Restoration Projects—such as the work being done in the Starrigavan Valley and Sitkoh River in Sitka—are the most important efforts currently being conducted by the Forest Service on the Tongass. This work should be continued and expanded.
- The success of Tongass Management should no longer be tied to “million-board feet of timber produced” but rather should be measured on the successful rehabilitation, enhancement, and continuance of Wild Salmon Runs on the Tongass
- Continued and expanded research and investigation on Alaskan Salmon is a huge priority to assess how we will manage salmon in the face of climate change
What to do: write a letter, send it out to decision makers, pass it along to SCS so we can help make all our voices heard, and continue to get involved.
Send Letters to (email is fine):
Washington, DC 20510 Email to staff: Bob_Weinstein@begich.senate.gov
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250 Email: Harris.Sherman@usda.gov Tom Tidwell Chief of USDA Forest Service US Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Please send a copy to us at the Sitka Conservation Society offices at email@example.com. We will keep track of the letters that are received by decision makers and work on getting them delivered in person by a fisherman to decision makers in Washington, DC.