Sitka Conservation Society


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.

Sitka Collaborative Stewardship Group

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: Nature’s Classroom in our Backyard

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.


Science Mentor Program

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.


Related Posts:

  • Science Mentor Program accepting applications for next school year

    Science Mentor Program accepting applications for next school year

    The Science Mentor Program is accepting applications for the 2013/2014 school year. This is the third year of this highly popular and successful program. Last year, students studied wintering songbirds in Sitka and conducted genetic research on the decline of Alaska yellow cedar. Students from any of Sitka’s 3 high schools are encouraged to apply. [...]

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  • Science Sharing Night Monday, April 29th, 7:00 pm, UAS

    Science Sharing Night Monday, April 29th, 7:00 pm, UAS

    Want to learn more about the genetics of Alaska yellow cedar or intertidal beetles, marine mammal bioacoustics, winter song bird hangouts, the effects of forest thinning on deer habitat, and stream chemistry? The Second Annual Sitka Science Sharing Night from 7-8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29, at the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus Room [...]

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  • A better, safer bridge for young scientists!

    A better, safer bridge for young scientists!

    Last weekend, SCS organized a work party to replace a broken bridge behind Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary School. The bridge is used by students who monitor the stream and its surrounding habitat, but it recently sustained serious damage due to rot and falling trees, and became too unsafe for classroom use. Requests were made to [...]

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  • Guide to Tongass Young Growth Timber

    Guide to Tongass Young Growth Timber

    This school year, SCS partnered with the Sitka High School Construction Tech program to explore and demonstrate ways that young-growth red alder and Sitka spruce from the Tongass can be used in building and woodworking. The projects that resulted are profiled, along with others from throughout the region, in “Alaskan Grown: A Guide to Tongass [...]

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  • The Next Restoration Opportunity – Kruzof Island

    The Next Restoration Opportunity – Kruzof Island

    On January 16, 2013 at 6:30pm at Centennial Hall, Sitkans can share their ideas and priorities with the Forest Service regarding the future management of Kruzof Island. Over the next few years, multiple habitat restoration, timber management, and recreational developments and maintenance can occur on Kruzof Island. The community survey we conducted also identified the [...]

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  • Second-growth in High School Wood Shop

    Second-growth in High School Wood Shop

    Since the Forest Service first announced its Tongass Transition Framework in early 2010, the Sitka Conservation Society has both partnered with the agency and sought models to demonstrate ways Tongass second growth timber can be used locally and sustainably.  We know there is a significant interest in the use of local wood, and we believe [...]

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  • Take Action: Tell the Forest Service to follow through

    Take Action: Tell the Forest Service to follow through

    Background: The US Forest Service has adopted the Tongass Transition Framework, a program intended to shift forest management away from the out-dated and ill-fated old growth logging paradigm toward management that support multiple uses of the forest, including recreation, restoration, subsistence, and second-growth management.  This is an encouraging recognition of the region’s important natural resources, [...]

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  • Have You Seen This Bird?

    Have You Seen This Bird?

              Attention all bird enthusiasts and nature-lovers! 97 birds with various sorts of colored leg bands have been spotted in Sitka. We need your help in recording sightings of these birds! The weekend before Thanksgiving, certified bird bander Gwen Baluss, Sitka High student Naquoia Bautista, and many volunteers banded Juncos, Chickadees, [...]

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  • Starrigavan Stream Team 2012

    Starrigavan Stream Team 2012

    It’s November and the salmon eggs are all nestled in their gravel beds, but we can still dream of next year’s Blatchley Stream Team by watching this very cool video! Each May, over 100 Blatchley 7th Graders participate in Stream Team, where they help restore fish habitat and monitor stream health. This annual event is [...]

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  • 2012 Science Mentor Program students selected

    2012 Science Mentor Program students selected

    Three Sitka High School students were recently chosen to participate in the Science Mentor Program for the 2012-2013 school year. Program Coordinator Scott Harris and UAS Professor Kitty LaBounty stand with students Kaya Duguay, Naquoia Bautista, and Melea Roman. Kaya and Melea will be working on a cedar genetics study and Naquoia will be working [...]

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  • 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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