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:

  • How do YOU think our forests and watersheds should be managed?

    How do YOU think our forests and watersheds should be managed?

    We want to know your thoughts and ideas about how our forests and watersheds should be managed! Do you kayak in Silver Bay? Hike along Indian River? Hunt on Kruzof? These are the places you know and love: how do you want to see them managed? How do you think restoration and management should be [...]

    Read more →

  • The Yin to the Stream Team’s Yang: The Forest Team’s First Field Experience of the Year

    The Yin to the Stream Team’s Yang: The Forest Team’s First Field Experience of the Year

    When I was 21, I headed to the Sierra Nevadas for two months as a part of my forestry degree, studying the scientific and professional dimensions of forest and wildland resource management. I received training in simple field orienteering principles, ran transects, cruised timber, and assessed the ecological conditions around Quincy, California. Being out at [...]

    Read more →

  • Meet the Staff

    Meet the Staff

    Click here to hear Natalia, Ray, and Courtney on Raven Radio’s Morning Interview Sitka Conservation Society staffers Natalia Povelite (Tongass salmon organizer), Ray Friedlander (Tongass forest organizer), and Courtney Bobsin (Jesuit Volunteer, Fish-to-Schools) discuss their respective projects, and why they chose to work in Sitka.

    Read more →

  • Sea Lion Cove

    Sea Lion Cove

    Sitka Trail Works provides visitors and residents of Sitka with a series of well managed trail systems- offering outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to travel at ease through some of the most beautiful and unique habitats on earth. The Sea Lion Cove hike, located on Kruzof Island, winds through an incredible diversity of habitats over a [...]

    Read more →

  • Sitka, AK – Where Theory Meets Practice

    Sitka, AK – Where Theory Meets Practice

    In July of 2012, thirteen undergraduate students from Knox College embarked on a 15-day wilderness expedition into the wilds of Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.  The trip was part of a semester long course entitled “Alaska: Forest, Fisheries, and the Politics of Wilderness”.  The course entailed an in-depth study of the history of natural resource [...]

    Read more →

  • Cultivating Salmon, Cultivating Community

    Cultivating Salmon, Cultivating Community

    The hatchery employees at the Medvejie Hatchery located south of Sitka exemplify what it means to be “living with the land and building community in Southeast Alaska.” They are the living link between the community of Sitka and the robust salmon fishery that supports the community. Their good work helps sustain healthy wild runs of [...]

    Read more →

  • Dustin Hack: Local Craftsman, Local Materials

    Dustin Hack: Local Craftsman, Local Materials

    Dustin Hack is not your typical entrepreneur.  Instead of making his living by sipping lattes, yapping on cell phones, and playing the stock exchange, Hack makes his living the old-fashioned way, with his own two hands. Hack, 31, originally from Plainfield, IL, recently started a new business in Sitka entitled the Alaska Beam Company.  The [...]

    Read more →

  • Living with the Land Blog

    Living with the Land Blog

    In the Tongass, people live with the land. We are constantly learning from it–learning how to build communities that are part of the landscape rather than a place away from it. In this blog we want to share with you some of those lessons we’ve learned and the experience of learning them first hand.   [...]

    Read more →

  • Students share their research with the community

    Students share their research with the community

    On May 1, students from the Science Mentor Program, Sitka High Field Science Class, and Mt. Edgecumbe High School shared their research with the community. Nearly 50 people attended. Standing room only! Students projects included research in microbial fungal communities in young growth forests, vegetation mapping to target wildlife habitat restoration prescriptions, whale acoustics and [...]

    Read more →

  • Starrigavan Stream Team

    Starrigavan Stream Team

    Each May in Starrigavan Valley, nearly 100 7th Graders from Blatchley Middle School in Sitka spend a couple days doing hands-on stream restoration and monitoring. In the classroom, the students learn about watershed ecology and salmon habitat. Then they hit the field and help professional watershed managers actually install in-stream wood structures to rebuild fish [...]

    Read more →

Follow Us
Get Updates
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Newsletter and updates

Take Action Now
Take Action

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
Get Involved
Get Involved