Living Wilderness Fund

The Living Wilderness Fund is an endowment created to protect the Wilderness of the Tongass National Forest. This endowment was formed in 2003 to honor the legacy of our founders, the Calvins and the Johnstones, whose hard work led to the federal designation of the West Chichagof–Yakobi Wilderness Area. By contributing  to the Living Wilderness Fund, you are supporting healthy forest and ocean ecosystems for future generations. 

A gift to the Living Wilderness Fund differs from other charitable contributions because the donations will remain untouched. The interest from the fund will be used to support a full-time wilderness advocate position at Sitka Conservation Society. Additional interest will be put directly toward wilderness conservation projects. The Living Wilderness Memorial plaque  is added to over time as we honor individuals for their legacy and contribution to this endowment. 

By conserving wilderness areas, we can ensure that the Tongass continues to provide salmon, clean water, fresh air and our Southeast Alaska way of life . Our founders, Chuck and Alice Johnstone and Sasha, Jack, and Margaret Calvin, realized this decades ago when they advocated to leave a legacy of wilderness for the future, culminating in the federal designation of the West Chichagof–Yakobi Wilderness Area. Other individuals, including Pam and Eric Bealer and Greg Killinger, have continued this tradition of living with the land and building community in the Tongass. We honor these individuals and have integrated the inspiration they provide us into our work.

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

1. Contact us at 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 $800,000.

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.

Letting Go, a wood engraving by Eric Bealer. SCS is honored that the Bealers contributed their estate to the Living Wilderness Fund.

Celebrating the passion for the Tongass and the lives of:

Margot Adams Susan Neuhauser Atlee Rachel Baldwin Eric and Pam Bealer
Anita Behnken Ian Blair Jack and Sasha Calvin Richard Carstensen
Helen Hooper Drury Ruth Dunbar Sally Duncombe Robert J. Ellis
Ward Elridge Greg Killinger Marcel and Connie LaPerriere Don Muller
Jack and Judy Ozment William Stortz Chuck Thoms Richard Nelson


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