We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect – Aldo Leopold
Stewardship of our environment and communities means working together to solve issues and connecting the community to the natural environment which sustains us. By working with land managers and the community to think creatively about habitat restoration, local economic development, timber, recreation, education, monitoring, contracting and more, we are working to ensure that local needs and environmental values are consistently integrated into the management process.
Through collaborative approaches to land stewardship, and community and student involvement in stewardship activities, we all gain an understanding of the diverse views about and ecological processes in our surrounding environment. This helps land managers meet a variety of interests in meaningful ways, thereby reducing conflict through well rounded plans and projects with a higher probability of success.
The SCSG supports initiatives that address a range of community, economic and environmental needs, and works to find common ground between different user groups in the Sitka Community Use Area.
Starrigavan Valley is where students get outside to practice and learn the science of ecological restoration. The Starrigavan Valley is in Sitka’s backyard. We all go to Starrigavan to hunt, fish, camp, observe nature, ride ATV’s, and now learn! The Starrigavan Valley was clearcut in the 1970′s and now has ongoing activities to restore wildlife and fish habitat. It is the ideal learning classroom and offers many opportunities for student-based hands-on restoration activities, scientific monitoring, or just connecting with nature.
Students in the Science Mentor Program gain valuable knowledge of the local environment by conducting ecological research studies with professional scientists. This program also prepares students for post-secondary studies and gives them a glimpse into careers in the ecological sciences. Individual students will gain valuable real-world experience by working one-on-one with professional mentors to develop, implement, and report on a research study that addresses a pertinent ecological question in the local Sitka area.
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 [...]
BACKGROUND: The Peril Project is a collaborative stewardship initiative designed to improve wildlife habitat and recreational access within the False Island/Peril Strait landscape. Planning for Peril officially began in 2010, but the “landscape-scale” project concept is rooted in three efforts that began as far back as 2006: the U.S. Forest Service False Island Integrated Resource [...]
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 [...]
The Sitka Conservation Society is working hard during this Forest Service budget preparing season to advocate for a shift of Tongass funding from a disproportionate logging program to a focus that manages our largest National Forest for Salmon. It is high time that we made this shift because salmon are the lifeblood of our region [...]
Four Sitka High students were recently selected to participate in the Science Mentor Program. This program pairs students with professional mentors to conduct ecological field studies. From left to right: Program Coordinators Scott Harris, Ashley Bolwerk, and Kent Bovee, Tahnee Curran will be work with Wildlife Biologist Chris Leeseberg at the US Forest Service, Spencer [...]
In 2011, with funding from the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund, we developed the Salmon For All Ages Project. Now that the year has ended, we can tally our success at spreading the word about the value of our Alaska Wild Salmon and Salmon Habitat to people throughout Southeast Alaska. We developed a curriculum resource guide [...]