Sitka Conservation Society
Mar 20 2012

Weatherization 101: Hot Water Heater

The second biggest user of energy in your home is the hot water heater.  Adjusting your hot water heater to the correct temperature can save a great deal of energy in your home.  In this video, local contractor Marcel Laperierre shows us how to adjust the hot water heater temperature for energy savings.

 

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.

Feb 13 2012

We Love our Fishermen!

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.

Feb 10 2012

The Tongass is America’s Salmon Forest


The Tongass produces more salmon than all other National Forests combined.  These salmon are a keystone species in the temperate rainforest ecosystems and hundreds of species depend on them– including humans.  Salmon have been a food source in Southeast Alaska for thousands of years and continue to be the backbone of the economy.  The salmon from the Tongass are a sustainable resource that can continue to sustain communities, livelihoods, and ecosystems well into the future– if we manage the land and waters correctly.  The Forest Service is at a critical cross-roads right now in its “transition” framework as it moves out of Industrial Old Growth Logging and into more diverse and sustainable ways to create benefits from National Forest lands and resources.  Because the Tongass is America’s Salmon Forest,  and because Salmon are so important to all of us, we encourage the Forest Service to shift resources into the Tongass Fisheries and Watershed program and work to protect and restore salmon habitat and our salmon fisheries.

You can help us protect Tongass Salmon by taking action: here

Feb 06 2012

UPDATE 2/6: Boy Scout Troop 40 Adopts the Stikine


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.

Jan 20 2012

Expedition: Russell Fjord

In the summer of 2011, the SCS Wilderness crew traveled north to Russell Fjord Wilderness to assist the Yakutat ranger district in Wilderness monitoring.  Check out the video, report, and photos to learn more about the project and this uniquely rugged Wilderness.

From Disenchantment Bay, at the upper end of Yakutat Bay, heavily glaciated Russell Fjord penetrates about 35 miles inland, but the advance of Hubbard Glacier is slowly squeezing it off from the sea… Within the area, which lies between the Fairweather and Brabazon Ranges, you’ll find forested river valleys rising to alpine meadows and snowcapped peaks… At the northwest boundary of Russell Fjord, the Hubbard Glacier, one of the largest and most active tidewater glaciers in North America, is advancing to Gilbert Point. Twice in the last 40 years, the Hubbard has closed against the Puget Peninsula. Eventually, this unique event will become a long term situation converting Russell and Nunatak Fjords to immense freshwater lakes.  –from Wilderness.net

Report of the trip prepared by Scott Harris

Photos by Ben Hamilton

Dec 27 2011

Expedition: Stag Bay

In the summer of 2010, the SCS Wilderness crew packed up and headed north for an attempt at circumnavigating Yakobi Island by kayak. The weather and health of the crew were not cooperating, so paddling around Yakobi was not an option. Instead, the crew traveled to Stag Bay across Lisianski Strait, which turned out to be a fantastic destination.

Dec 16 2011

Expedition: West Chichagof

West Chichagof Wilderness has always been near and dear to our hearts here at SCS, in fact we probably wouldn’t be here today if our founders hadn’t fought for its protection (check out the whole history here).  And we still protect it today, by monitoring on the ground conditions that lead to effective management decisions and give us a baseline to chart the health of the ecosystem.

In the summer of 2011, the SCS Wilderness crew spent 3 weeks aboard the S/V Paulette, captained by our good friend Ken Merrill traveling the entire coast-line of West Chichagof.  Ben Hamilton of Pioneer Videography came along to document the trip.  You can watch all of his videos below.

Intro

Week One

Week Two

Be sure to check out the cave report and map of “Calvin Cave” here.

Week Three

 

May 08 2010

Expedition: Red Bluff

Red Bluff Bay is one of the most iconic places on Baranof Island. The area gets its name from the red, ultramafic (meaning high iron content) of the bedrock outcrop that marks the entrance of the bay. SCS’s Wilderness Crew, accompanied by author Nick Jans, targeted the bluffs as a prime environment to survey for rare and sensitive plants.
Red Bluff is also a popular destination for travelers and small cruise boats, so it was also important to monitor the base-line levels of human use to ensure that we don’t “love this place to death.”

 

Expedition: Red Bluff 2010 from Sitka Conservation Society on Vimeo.

May 06 2010

Expedition: Goulding Lakes

Goulding Lakes are a series of three large lakes right in the middle of West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness area.  In the summer of 2010, the SCS Wilderness Crew comprised of SCS staff and a number of volunteers, flew into the largest of the lakes with the goal of survey priority areas as they backpacked north to Stag Bay.  Check out the video to see how the adventure unfolded.

 

Jan 24 2010

Expedition: Glacier Study

The 2010 Wilderness Expedition Grant was awarded to the South Baranof Glacier Study.  Check out the final report, watch the video slide show, and read Jonathan and Eli’s stories from the trip.

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Keep up to date on all of the issues. Check out "The Southeaster" Blog.

  • Hungry for Huckleberry Pie, Venison Stew, or Fresh Greens? Come to the Wild Foods Potluck Nov. 2!
  • Stand Up to Corporate Influence!
  • Kayaking Kootznoowoo: Report on SCS’s Final Wilderness Trip
  • Encouraging Local Natural Resource Stewardship on the Tongass: Kennel Creek
  • Teaching the Alaska way of Life: 4-H in Sitka
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