Why do I do this work?
Trustees staff talk about why they defend Alaska
First I saw the wolves, two of them with pups in tow, big enough to learn to hunt. I watched them run down a caribou in a clearing a football field away from me. I was on a Kantishna-bound bus in Denali National Park. A little while later, a huge brown bear showed up, running off the wolves that paced nearby. Shortly after, a second brown bear arrived, this one smaller than the first, but daring. Within minutes, the bears got into it, tumbling their way off a 15-foot cliff. I could hear their snarling. The bigger bear emerged to reclaim his prize, while the wolves circled and plotted their revenge.
This was one of the most spectacular sights I’ve ever seen, yet witnessing this kind of wildlife encounter is becoming rarer in Alaska, in part due to the State’s aggressive predator control practices. I do the work I do because I love Alaska’s wildlife and wild lands, and I want future generations to have the opportunity to experience the feelings of awe and wonder I felt that day in Denali.
Because of the light on the mountains at sunset, the call of the common loon, the smell of the forest after a snow storm, the sweetness of blueberries plucked from the bush, the fuzzy caribou noses.
Brian Litmans, senior staff attorney
I grew up in the 1970s and 80s watching my city, Pittsburgh bottom out from its industrial heyday. The skies were no longer sooty but the rivers were still polluted. The city had no future in sight and lacked the promise it holds today. I fell in love with the land and wildlife when I want west to law school. I have been doing all I can to protect these places and animals ever since. As a lawyer, I have gone to court to keep beautiful old growth trees standing. I have protected critical habitat for prairie dogs and primrose. I have helped clients fight for the health of salmon and beluga whales. I’ve fought hard rock and coal mines because they scar the landscape and pollute our air and water. I work at Trustees because each day is an opportunity to do good, and to protect the rivers, the land, the wildlife and the beauty that is Alaska.
Find out more how Brian went from the once-polluted skies of Pittsburgh to pristine Alaska.
Vicki Clark, executive director
This third rock from the sun is our one true home. But it has its limits. All of the species on the planet need clean air, clean water, and places to thrive and renew. Everything and everybody is connected and everything we do has consequences not only for us, but for others. I do this work because I must act within my communities to ensure a healthy planet and help people understand why that is so important. I do it in Alaska because this place inspires beauty and wildness. And I do it because it
matters for me, my communities, and for future generations on this planet we call home.
Find out more about Vicki in her blog about going from marine biology to environmental advocacy.
Read about her trip to Barter Island to see and learn about polar bears.