"Changing Shorelines and the Search for Early Habitation Sites: a Talk by Jim Baichtal, Tongass Forest Geologist"
Friday, February 8th, 7:00 pm, UAS, Sitka, Room 220
Learn about research into the interactions of ice, land and sea across Southeast Alaska at the end of the last ice age. Recent discoveries, some in the Sitka area have been used in an attempt to model changing shorelines from the end of the last ice age into the present. You are invited to enter in to the discussion in hopes that you may know of places that will help with development and refining future models. This talk is free and open to the public. If you have any questions, please call Kitty at 747-9432
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Natalia Ruppert, Seismologist, Alaska Earthquake Information Center, GI UAF
- Tuesday, January 29
- UAS Room 229
This program is free and open to the public. It is sponsored with the generous support of the US Forest Service, UAS Sitka Campus and the Sitka Conservation Society.
If you have any questions, please contact Kitty LaBounty at 747-9432
The Sitka High School industrial arts classes and Sitka Conservation Society invite you to an open house of student handiwork featuring red alder harvested from False Island and processed in Sitka. Come to the SHS woodshop (follow signs from the front door) on December 19th, from 4:00-5:00 p.m., to learn more about the unique properties of red alder, and opportunities for using local wood in your home projects. Light refreshments will be served. This project funded by the National Forest Foundation. Contact Ray Friedlander at 747-7509 for more information.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the 2012 WildFoods Potluck! Check out the photos, get an update on the prize winners, and even see the presentation on SCS's Restoration work below.
And the Winners Are:Most Filling (Judges: Courtney Bobsin and Paul Killian)
Ellen Frankenstein—Crab Loaf
Chris Leeseberg—Lingcod Curry
Prizes: Pickled Beach Asparagus (donated by Gimbal Botanicals) and a Eating Alaska DVD donated by Ellen Frankenstein
Best Dish/ Most Wild (Judges: Jud Kirkness and Wendy Alderson)
Linda Wilson—Potato pepper pickle pea salad
Kerri Fish—Panang Curry with halibut cheeks
Prizes: $100 gift certificate to Alaska's Own (co sponsored by AO and SCS) and a homemade hemlock/cedar cutting board made by Spencer Severson with a Victorknox knife donated by Murray Pacific
Best Side (Judges: Marsh Skeele and Tachi Sopow)
Kerry O'toole--venison, goat cheese, and pickled crab apple
Prizes: one night paid in a FS cabin and two summer boat cruise tickets (both prizes sponsored by SCS)
Best Dessert (Judges: Fred Fayette, Veronica, and Kerri)
Darlene Orr --Cloud berry bites
Prize: $30 gift certificate donated by the Larkspur Cafe
Most Creative/Artistic (Judges: Chelsea Wheeler and Elena Gustafson)
Judy Lehman--salmon lingnon berry pizza
Prize: $60 gift basket donated by WinterSong Soap Co.
SCS's Watershed Restoration Mission presented by Scott Harris
2012 Potluck Photo Gallery[gallery link="file" columns="6" orderby="rand"]
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Join us at the SCS Annual Wild Foods Potluck
November 29th, 5:00-7:30 pm at Harrigan Centennial Hall
This free, community event gives everyone a chance to come together and share meals made with locally foraged food, from fish and wild game to seaweed, berries and other traditional subsistence foods. All folks are asked to bring in dishes that feature local wild foods, and if you can't bring in a dish that features wild foods you can use a wild plant to garnish a dish made with store-bought foods. Doors open at 5 p.m. to bring in your dish, with dinner starting at 6:00 p.m. Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
This year's theme will be "Restoration in the Sitka Community Use Area" where we will be sharing with you the hard work we've put in to the Tongass National Forest. There will be prizes awarded for the best dishes made in categories like:
-best entree/most wild
-most filling (we have a lot of folks come to the Wild Foods potluck, so if you cook a big dish that can feed a lot of people, that would be very mindful and considerate and definitely worth rewarding!)
The doors open at 5:00 pm so you'll have a chance to visit the community booths from the following groups:
- Sitka Local Foods Network
- Sitka Trailworks
- Sitka Maritime Heritage Society
- Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association
- Alaska Way of Life 4-H Club
- Forest Service
- Sitka Cooperative Extension Service
- SCS Fish to Schools
- Wood Utilization Center
Look through photos of past years for inspiration, or view an article on the stories behind the dishes that were entered in the 2011 potluck.
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The morning light began to unfold as we motored south of town, a pod of whales to our right and the sun dancing in the still water. I am witness to the incredible orchestration of the ocean, the interconnection between everything. This is just the beginning...
At the hunting grounds, we anchor the skiff and pack up our gear. Now we hunt. I follow in my partner's foot-steps, every step deliberate. We walk slowly with vigilance, our eyes constantly scanning. Every movement is intentional, every sign of deer noted. We push forward and find a spot to hunker down and call in the deer, a sound that can be described as a guttural kazoo.
This is only my second time out on a hunt and I'm somewhat unaware of how this day will unravel. I try to stay present and note how ironic it is to be searching for edibles when so many are underfoot. Cranberries, crowberries, and labrador tea are in abundance but we pass them by, our eyes intent on another prey. Will our goal to find a deer override the pleasure of exploring the wilderness? Will we feel unsuccessful if we have nothing on our backs but the wind?
We keep walking, our steps intersecting existing deer trails. I am aware of my feet and the gentle forgiveness of the sphagnum moss. I look back and see the moss literally bounce back; the land feels uniquely alive. We stop again on the crest of a hill looking below while blowing the deer call. Nothing.
I begin to think I am cursed. The last time I went out we didn't even see a deer. Maybe I'm slowing my partner down or perhaps I am walking too loudly. But I remind myself that regardless of our intent, this is incredible. The sun plays with the clouds and mountain peaks surround me, I can't imagine a more perfect place.
We note the time and keep moving, knowing we must inevitably turn back soon before darkness sets. My eyes start to get lazy, my focus less centered but I try to remain attentive. We perch ourselves behind a large rock and try to call in a deer. We wait. We call again. And then out of my peripheral vision I notice movement to the left. A deer! I quickly signaled to my partner holding the rifle. And then…it was over.
We walked up to the buck and paid our respects. A life for a life, gunalchéesh. We quickly set to work, pulling out the organs. I was astounded by the warmth of this creature, its heart beating just minutes ago. I've heard of others leaving tobacco or tokens of respect for the life given, so without a tradition of my own, I pulled out a few of my hairs and sprinkled them atop the organs that would soon feed others.
On the return, my step was light (my partner did indeed pack out the deer); I was overcome with a feeling of success. I noticed how the walk back was starkly different then our journey in. The intention and awareness I brought with me began to fade. Our quiet whispers turned into conversation. It is so interesting how our interactions with place can change with context.
We were right on schedule when we returned to the skiff. Still plenty of day light to make the trip home. The air was surprisingly warm and calm for November, everything about today just felt so right. I was at home here.
When we returned to Sitka, my body was numb and tired. The spray from the skiff drenched me completely and the cold bit at every extremity. Exhaustion was setting but the day was just beginning. I watched my partner skillfully skin and quarter the deer, his hands knowing the right placement of his knife. In just a few minutes this beautiful animal transformed. How quickly this happened.
Once the deer was quartered we began to process the deer into cuts that would soon become dinner. I followed my knife along the bone and began to cut away the fat. I was fascinated by every muscle, how it connected to the bone and other muscles. We worked side by side for hours, ensuring every piece of meat was used.
This morning we finished the process by packaging up our roasts, rib meat, stock bones, and sausage. All evidence of our expedition lies in a small chest freezer, but it doesn't end there for me. The blood has washed off my hands, but I can still see it. It is through this experience that I find myself deeply connected to this place, to the interconnection of life. We are bound in this web and in the cycle of death and creation.
A heartfelt thank you to my partner who was a patient teacher.
For Halloween this year, we asked the Sitka community to look at the Tongass, consider what they love about it, and use Halloween as a way to express the beautiful national forest that surrounds us by wearing Tongass-inspired costumes.
Clicking through the photos below, one can see the diverse ways kids represented the Tongass. Whether it be by dressing up as a Tongass critter, a float plane, or a fishermen, the Tongass supports the livelihoods and maritime culture of Southeast Alaska while inspiring us in creative ways.
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Thank you to Old Harbor Books, Harry Race Pharmacy, and the Chocolate Moose for providing goodies, as well as SCS staff members Erin, Tracy, Courtney, and Andrew for handing out candy and smiling a whole bunch!
October 31st from 4-6pm
during the Downtown Trick or Treating extravaganza
Bring out your kid's wild side this Halloween by dressing them up for the Sitka Conservation Society's Tongass-Inspired Halloween Contest. SCS folks will be awaitin' outside the bookstore to find the costume with the best Tongass theme.
Prizes include a $20 gift certificate from Old Harbor Books, ice cream coupons from Harry Race, water bottles, dried fruit, and more! For questions, contact Ray Friedlander at 747-7509.
[frame src="http://archive.sitkawild.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/hydropolitics.jpg" linkstyle="normal"]With scant water resources, water is a dramatic mirror of power relationships between Israel and Palestine, and water distribution occupies a central role in the peace process. To learn about the role of water in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, join photojournalist Skip Schiel for "The Hydropolitics of Palestine and Israel: A Slide Show," Sunday, September 23, 7pm, at Kettleson Memorial Library. Based on his most recent trip to Palestine and Israel in spring 2012, the presentation explores the impact of water on people and activities on both sides of the conflict.
Photojournalist Skip Schiel has documented Palestinian and Israeli reality through photographic images since 2003. Working with both Israeli and Palestinian organizations, his work provides the detailed texture of life among ordinary people in Gaza and the West Bank that is missing in the mainstream U.S. media. Schiel has taught photography and filmmaking in Boston and Palestine for over two decades, including at Cambridge Center of Adult Education, Landscape Institute (formerly at Harvard), Boston College, and in Palestine for Quaker Palestine Youth Program and Al Aqsa University in the Gaza Strip.
"The Hydropolitics of Palestine and Israel" is sponsored by Sitkans for Peace and Justice and Sitka Conservation Society. All perspectives are invited. For more information, contact Cindy Litman: 623.3969, [email protected]
Water and Ghraybeh cookies will be served following the presentation. These rich traditional Middle Eastern butter cookies are named after the Arabic word for "swoon."
The University of Alaska will hold a Southeast mushroom identification class Thursday, September 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with field trips Saturdays September 15 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fee is $49. SCS Board member Kitty LaBounty will instruct. Call Amanda at 747-7762 for more details or to register.