Sitka Conservation Society

Issues: Community Sustainability

SCS originally formed because Sitka residents were outraged at the large scale clearcutting occurring around their home. They were also very concerned about pollution emitted from the Sitka pulp mill. As SCS has grown, our primary focus has remained on Wilderness and public land protection. However, as residents of Sitka we are obviously very concerned about community issues. In fact, our Community Outreach Coordinator and Community Sustainability Organizer positions were added to help us work in our community, SCS sponsors a Backwoods Lecture Series to help Sitkans learn more about the wildlife and resources of the Tongass. See Our Events Calendar at the bottom of the page for a schedule of SCS events.

Climate Change and Energy

Just because Sitka is a small town, the Sitka Conservation Society does not believe that means it can’t be a national leader in taking on climate change. The idea is that if little Sitka can take progressive steps, why can’t any other community?  To help address climate change in Sitka, SCS has advocated for increasing the city’s hydroelectric capacity and organized energy conservation programs to help individuals improve the energy efficiency of their homes.


Local FoodsLocal Foods

At the Sitka Conservation Society we are working towards creating a more resilient food system by supporting local efforts to protect the habitat of wild foods, support traditional harvest/subsistence lifestyles, increase local food production, create access to wild seafood, reform the school lunch program to include local foods, and increase awareness of local fishing culture.


Environmental Education

The Sitka Conservation Society provides diverse environmental education programs, which reach hundreds of people from preschool age through retirement age every year. Some of these programs are actually done in the classrooms of local schools, while other programs include public lectures and boat trips for the community at large.



Recent Posts:

  • Our Offices get an Energy Upgrade!

    Our Offices get an Energy Upgrade!

    The Old Harbor Books Building in Sitka where SCS’s offices are located, received an energy audit by participating in the Alaska Energy Authority’s Commercial Building Energy Audit Program. This video series follows the building’s audit, energy upgrades and expectations.  Visit the Commercial Energy Audit program webpage for more information. Video 1 of 5 provides background to [...]

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  • A Salmon Connection

    A Salmon Connection

    Can you teach economics to kids? I wasn’t sure. I’ve been scratching my head at how to convey such an advanced topic to third graders. So what if money stays here or goes there? A dollar is a dollar to a kid and they are going to spend it on the next trendy thing, right? [...]

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  • Tongass Building

    Tongass Building

    There are countless reasons to ‘buy local’ ranging from defining and maintaining local character to strengthening the community to stimulating local entrepreneurship and keeping money in the community.  In a community like Sitka that can, more often than not, present a suite of challenges, primarily, a limited capacity to produce certain goods and commodities that [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – John Straley

    Voices of the Tongass – John Straley

    This week on Voices of the Tongass, John Straley talks about what it means to succeed in the Last Frontier, from building a career to building a family. To hear the show, scroll to the play bar at the bottom of this post. John Straley’s father could not have predicted that moving to the Last [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – Taylor White

    Voices of the Tongass – Taylor White

    This week’s show takes us under the breaking waves for a night dive with Taylor White. To hear more about Taylor’s relationship with the ocean, read on. To hear her episode of Voices of the Tongass, scroll to the bottom of this post. photo by Berett Wilber Taylor White is 22 years old and she [...]

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  • Tendering and Tongass Transition Advocacy Take Two

    Tendering and Tongass Transition Advocacy Take Two

    Tenders may only fulfill one or a few parts of the salmon commodity chain yet their hard labor and work ethic is what keeps our fishermen fishing and eventually our plates full of fish. To keep fishermen fishing, yet another amenity often provided by tenders is conversation. This is where my role as a community [...]

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  • “You slice ‘um, we ice ‘um”: a mix of tendering and Tongass Transition advocacy in Southeast

    “You slice ‘um, we ice ‘um”: a mix of tendering and Tongass Transition advocacy in Southeast

    Over the course of the summer, I had a chance to talk to a huge number of fishermen, but our conversations did not happen just at the harbors, docks, or in Sitka’s Pbar. Instead, they occurred on tenders. Tenders are a very important component of Southeast Alaska’s fishing industry and serve fishing boats that are [...]

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  • Voices of the Tongass – Tory O’Connell

    Voices of the Tongass – Tory O’Connell

    This week’s episode of Voices of the Tongass takes us deep under the surface of our coastal waters. To hear Tory O’Connell share stories from her underwater research career, scroll to the bottom of this post and click the play bar. To read more about why Tory chose to make her life in Alaska, read [...]

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  • The Salmon Forest

    The Salmon Forest

    THE TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST AND THE COHO SALMON:  Alaska’s coho fisheries and the Tongass National Forest are closely related. Shot in Sitka over the fishing season of 2013 by Berett Wilber, this photo essay illustrates how conservation and restoration matter  to local fisherman, and why it should matter to you.

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  • Guest Post: From the Waters of Alaska to the Cornfields of the Midwest

    Guest Post: From the Waters of Alaska to the Cornfields of the Midwest

    By. Nora McGinn, Sitka Salmon Shares Organizer The Sitka Salmon Shares office sits on Main Street in Galesburg, Illinois, approximately 3,000 miles from the Tongass National Forest and the communities of Southeast Alaska. Despite this distance, we share a commitment to the salmon, fishermen and public lands that make up the Tongass National Forest. As [...]

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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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