About the Living Wilderness Fund

The Tongass National Forest is quite simply one of the greatest wild wonders of our world. From the ice-scoured peaks to the mist-laden forests to the wave-washed beaches, the Tongass is simply beautiful. More than that, the health of the Tongass is essential to our own. The Tongass provides our industry, our recreation, and our homes. By preserving large portions of wilderness, we can make sure the Tongass continues to provide salmon, clean water, fresh air, and a place to rejuvenate, grow, and learn.

Our founders, the Calvins and Johnstones, realized this many decades ago when they fought hard to leave a legacy of wilderness for the future, culminating in the federal designation of the West Chichagof/Yakobi Island Wilderness Area. We created the Living Wilderness Fund in 2003 to honor our founders, preserve and expand the wild places they saved, and ensure that future generations can experience the wilderness we cherish.

A gift to the Living Wilderness endowment differs from other charitable contributions because the donations will remain untouched. Only the interest will be used to support a full-time wilderness advocate position at Sitka Conservation Society. Any additional interest will be put directly toward wilderness conservation projects.

You can help sustain the wild world we have been given. A donation to the Living Wilderness Fund is an investment in the future of wilderness. Many years ago, the Calvins and Johnstones made an important investment, which continues to benefit us. Let us now follow their example and celebrate their accomplishments by supporting the Living Wilderness Fund.

The Living Wilderness Memorial plaque celebrates the lives of our founders and of those who love wilderness. Donations made in a person's honor will add their name to the plaque.

If you would like to contribute to the Living Wilderness Fund:

1. Contact us at [email protected] or 907-747-7509 if you would like to discuss your options for giving.

2. If you would prefer to contribute to the Fund online, please click here.

3. Please download our Giving Guide to learn more about options for giving to the fund and this document as a reference for you and your financial planner.

How will the LWF be used as it grows?

As the Living Wilderness Fund grows, it will increasingly support the efforts of the Sitka Conservation Society to protect existing Wilderness Areas while advocating for additional Wilderness designations in the Tongass.  The Fund currently encompasses just under $400,000.

When the Fund reaches $500,000…

Our first landmark goal is to reach $500,000. With this principal, the interest will be able to pay for a part-time staff position focused on wilderness advocacy.

When the Fund reaches $1 million…

At $1 million the interest will pay for a full-time wilderness advocacy position. This position will ensure that our Wilderness areas are constantly monitored, that threats to Wilderness are tracked and countered, and that emphasis is maintained on stricter protections and advocacy for additional Wilderness designations.

When the Fund reaches $1.5 million…

Once the fund reaches $1.5 million or more, the interest will fund an entire Wilderness program budget including full-time salary and project expenses, which would be independent of the general SCS budget. This means that no matter what the political or economic climate, SCS will always be true to our founders’ vision of Wilderness advocacy, and SCS will have more resources free to focus on other issue affecting the Tongass.

Wilderness protection has always been at the heart of the Sitka Conservation Society. Since our founding, our fundamental goal has been to protect existing Wilderness in the Tongass and advocate for more Wilderness designation for unique and important land. In the future, the Living Wilderness Fund will provide continued financial stability to ensure that our work efforts will not fade away.

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