Alice Johnstone, one of our founders, remains an inspiring leader of our community and ardent conservationist. As Women’s History Month is drawing to a close, we want to highlight the important work that Alice has done for the community of Sitka. She and her husband Chuck joined forces with other Sitkans to create the Sitka Conservation Society in 1967, in an attempt to stop the clearcut logging that was destroying the forests they loved. Their dream was to get West Chichagof designated as a wilderness area before the mill could turn all of the trees to pulp. In 1980 after 13 years of pouring all their energy into this dream, it was realized and the West-Chichagof Yakobi Wilderness was created.Read more
As we have learned more each day and watched the impacts and spread of COVID-19, it has become apparent that we all need to take action now to protect our communities.
We have made the difficult decision to postpone the Celebration of Life for Richard Nelson.
We are planning to reschedule, but are waiting to evaluate how the situation changes before we set dates. We will keep you updated as soon as we have plans. We all were looking forward to celebrating and remembering Nels, but we believe that he would not want anyone to compromise community health or well-being.
In the midst of this stressful moment for human society, life is jubilantly returning to Sitka Sound. Humpback whales are playing in Silver Bay and young sea lions can be spotted along the shoreline. We're fully in herring weather, as Nels described in an Encounters episode:
It's a spring afternoon, one of those days when the weather makes itself a character in every story. It’s clear right now with sunshine pouring down but just through a blue hole in the clouds. There are squalls running around—sometimes rain, sometimes snow, sometimes hail, sometimes blustery winds.
In this season we are constantly reminded of Nels' joy and spark for life, as well as his understanding that we are not separate from the natural world but rather a part of it like every other creature. We are striving to approach every day with the kindness he always demonstrated, despite the challenges we face.
If you have any questions, please email Ellie at email@example.com. For the next few weeks, the Sitka Conservation Society will be working remotely as much as possible to attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Please contact us through email rather than phone calls.
Photo by Lione Clare Photography
The inspiration, guidance, wisdom, and “ways of seeing” that you have given us will live on forever.
Long-time Sitka Conservation Society Board Emeritus Richard “Nels” Nelson passed away on November 4th, 2019. Nels served on our board of directors for close to 40 years, and he has enormously influenced our organization.
Photo by Ben Hamilton.Read more
Eric and Pam Bealer transcended their earthly bodies in September of 2018. They chose to leave a legacy gift for Wilderness and left their estate to the Sitka Conservation Society’s Living Wilderness Fund. The Sitka Conservation Society considers this a great honor and we are humbled by their gift. We will honor their love of the wilderness through the stewardship of these spectacular areas of intact ecosystems and by working to protect West Chichagof–Yakobi Wilderness so that future generations may continue to be as inspired by this remarkable place as Eric and Pam were.
Pam and Eric with some of their beloved animalsRead more