Alaska Brief Newsletter–May 2018

Standing with the Gwich'in, remembering a friend

May 23, 2018

Here in Alaska, the month of May often lingers longer than our patience. With winter and taxes behind us, and hiking, biking and fishing ahead, we often get antsy and greedy for the Midnight Sun and all that the sunshine brings.

Soon enough, our hands will sift through soil tending to fast-growing gardens–and faster-growing weeds. Our boots will dig into scree as we climb wild peaks and clamor along nourishing rivers. Our minds will wander to the secret fishing hole or sublime vista point just around the faraway bend.

For now, though, we find ourselves in the “in between”.

This transitional season gives us a great opportunity to reflect on the year, and the ways in which we can counter the negativity, inanity, and distraction that keep us from seeing and feeling the good work going on around us.

For me, it comes down to remembering why I do this work. I pretty much have a dream job.  I work with great people, have a wonderful Board of Directors, and spend every day engaged with a dedicated team that protects and defends what we all love about Alaska–the wild places that make it unique and irreplaceable.

With Trustees, I also found a place where I can continue to support oceans and healthy water systems. I thought I wanted to be Jacqueline Cousteau as a kid, after all, and I studied aquatic biology in college. When I travel, I like going where I can dip my toes in the water, and dive with the citizens of the sea.

One way to stay healthily engaged in a world that seems Twitter-obsessed and untethered from curiosity, truth, and common ground is to find something you care about and commit to caring for it. For me, that thing is water. It is sea mammals. It is plankton, nudibranchs, salmon, sea horses and sharks.

What oceans and watersheds give me is enormous, so I give back by volunteering and donating to Trustees and other organizations that protect water and all living things that rely on it. Giving financially puts positive energy into the systems that help us thrive. It gives resources to people and organizations that can do the work that we cannot. It acknowledges and honors our relationship with the natural world and our communities.

So when catching a breath during the “in between” seasons, remember that making the world a better place only happens because of you.

Thank you for all you do, and all you’ll do next.

Vicki Clark

Executive Director

PS: Your support of Trustees for Alaska is critical now more than ever.

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It’s time to stand with the Gwich’in
The Trump administration ignored public opinion and human rights when it launched a rushed 60-day process to lease for oil and gas development in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It’s time to speak up during public hearings in May and June.

 Court tells state to act on water rights
Trustees filed a lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of the Chuitna Citizens Coalition, a group of Alaskans that applied for water reservations to protect fish and wildlife back in 2009. Last week, the court agreed with us: the state needs to stop delaying water rights decisions.

  Remembering Susan Olsen 
Alaska lost a dedicated advocate for wild Alaska last month. Our executive director remembers Susan Olsen as a wise and quiet force for nature who always had a twinkle in her eye.

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